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Everyone is talking about 'quiet quitting,' but is it a good idea?

Jo Constantz, Bloomberg News on

Published in Business News

“Quiet quitting” has struck a nerve. It means more time for friends, family and personal pursuits, not to mention a side hustle. But the latest workplace trend has drawbacks.

TikTok and Twitter are awash in explainer videos and endless interpretations. Despite what the name suggests, quiet quitting doesn’t mean turning in a resignation letter. Instead, it’s a stealth retreat from the hustle culture that dominated the pre-pandemic era of giving up everything in pursuit of ambition. Quiet quitting is the newly minted moniker for doing the bare minimum of the job description.

Should you quietly quit, too? Here’s why and why not:

Work-life balance: Zaid Khan, 24, who created a popular quiet quitting video on TikTok, said he started exploring “work reform” and the subreddit r/AntiWork during the Covid-19 lockdown when his job became all-consuming.

“I realized no matter how much work I put in I’m not going to see the payoff that I’m expecting,” Khan, a software developer and musician, said in an interview. “Overworking only gets you so far in corporate America. And like a lot of us have experienced in the past few years, mental and physical health really takes a backseat to productivity in a lot of these structured corporate environments.”

On quiet quitting #workreform

 

According to a report released by the American Psychological Association in January, the kind of burnout and stress Khan encountered has hit all-time highs across industries during the pandemic.

Organizational psychologist Ben Granger, head of employee experience advisory services at survey firm Qualtrics, said that quiet quitting can be a way to protect mental and physical health in a toxic work environment. But staying in a miserable job and putting in the bare minimum means giving up the fulfillment that can come from a good one.

For his part, Khan ended up quitting for real for a new manager who respects his work-life boundaries. “He tells me all the time, your health comes first,” he said. “If you ever need to take a day off or if you need to ever take need to take some time away — there’s so much more than work that we're doing.”

Passion projects: Antrell Vining, 25, has a day job as a project manager in the finance industry. As a side hustle after hours, he creates social media content about the tech industry and millennial and Gen Z work life. After dropping out of medical school to pursue a career in tech, he works to help others make similar career changes. With close to 30,000 followers on TikTok, Vining makes money offering career and resume consulting services and through partnerships with companies, he said. For him, quiet quitting means setting boundaries so he has the time and energy to pursue his passion project.

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