The term “quiet quitting” has been doing the rounds lately and led to a great deal of controversy.
It became popular after a TikTok creator by the name Zaiad Khan explained the idea to his followers in this viral video.
In short, “quiet quitting” is the idea of working without going above and beyond any expectations, thus distancing oneself from the hustle culture that plagues many work environments.
The blunter way of saying this is that “quiet quitting” means to refrain from working any more than you have to. Do what you’re paid to do and don’t push yourself over that, because mental health is more important than surpassing an arbitrary goal, sometimes imposed by employers themselves, but more often than not, self-imposed.
This has caused a lot of discussion from employees and employers alike, offering a number of different views and interpretations of this term.
As a result of the surge in popularity, there have been articles directed at employers with the intent to help them identify employees that are “quietly quitting”, pushing forward the idea that only overworking and going beyond expectations is considered “enough” in some work environments.
Employers are told to watch who is delivering only what’s necessary and who is actually doing more, implying that those workers only focused on fulfilling their obligations are “quiet quitters” that should be eliminated from the company.
Most employees abhor this idea, because after all if you’re doing your job and meeting all expectations, that should not be seen as a reason to be fired. Yet many have shared stories from way before this term became popular of them being fired for not going “above and beyond” (which usually means working longer hours for no extra payment).
The term itself has an unfortunate name, which has led to a lot of confusion over its actual meaning. It starts with the word “quitting” – nothing about the idea actually involves quitting. According to the original post where the term first became popular, it’s not that you’re doing the bare minimum, you’re still fulfilling all your obligations to your employer.
The word “quitting” simply refers to the notion of productivity being so linked to self-worth in the modern age. You’re quitting the idea that work is all that matters and that productivity must be high at all times for you to accomplish anything. You can simply fulfill your obligations to your employer and live your life with peace of mind, focusing on whatever you choose to.
It’s clear that a lot of discussions will continue to happen regarding this term in the near future, perhaps even a reshaping of it to a more professional-sounding term everyone can understand and acknowledge with no confusion. If anything, this trend shows that we live in a world where doing what you’re paid to do is seen as “the bare minimum”, and that will resonate for a while as many awake to see that their productivity does not define their self-worth, after all.