🧐 Do You Know The Full Story on Quiet Quitting?
Here's the full breakdown. Some of you may not like it.
Welcome to The Level Ups. Modern business news for the future business leader (explained in plain-Jane English).
Quiet Quitting is taking over. Here’s everything workers and business owners need to know.
What is Quiet Quitting, and where did it come from?
Is it corporate nonsense or a real issue?
What are the impacts? (Who’s hurt the most)?
What nobody else wants to tell you.
Let’s get into it.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes & 47 seconds.
What is Quiet Quitting?
The idea is that people (in general) are no longer interested in going “above and beyond at work.” If you’re paid to do X, you should do that and no more. If the agreement is 40 hours a week, that’s that.
Some people say, “yea, that’s how it should be.”
Some ask, “can I still get promoted?”
The answer is (often) “no,” which has created controversy.
Employees don’t want to go above and beyond, but employers want them to (shocker).
I get why it’s controversial, but should it be?
First, let’s look at the data.
Is Quiet Quitting The Real Deal?
The data says yes. So does the commentary.
US productivity is in a “slump” even though there are plenty of jobs out there (so it’s not just the *economy)*. Peterson published it in August.
A national survey by Gallup found that 18% of the workforce is “disengaged,” and 50% (The quiet quitters) are not just not engaged at work. Most common among workers under 35.
CEOs are going on record. This is terrifying them. Bloomberg published this.
NPR reports it's a global phenomenon that’s not isolated to the USA/Canada. It started in China, known for its “9-9-6” culture (working 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week).
It goes on.
Google lets us see how often something is searched by everyone using its search engine. It’s not as creepy as it sounds.
I wanted to see if more people are searching for “how to quit a job,” and the trend is obvious.
Don’t forget the “Great Resignation,” where people leave jobs they once tolerated (en-masse).
Looks like workers have clued in that they don’t have to quit; they can just cruise.
Yes, quiet quitting is real.
But what’s the impact?
Quiet Quitting Will Continue Crushing Businesses
Let’s look at how productivity at one company might change before and after quiet quitting. It’s a general example, but it makes the point and is in line with the data.
100 employees at a company.
40 worked 40 hour weeks.
40 worked 50 hour weeks.
20 worked 60 hour weeks.
That’s 4800 hours of work. It’s the same as having 120 employees work the set 40-hour week.
Same 100 employees.
30 work 30 hours.
50 work 40 hours.
20 work 50 hours.
That’s 3900 hours of work. It’s like having 97.5 employees on the set 40-hour week.
To maintain the same productivity, that company would have to hire an extra 32.5 employees.
If the average salary is $60k/year, they’d have to pay just under an extra $2M (for the same productivity). That’s not including additional costs for insurance, equipment, etc.
Most employees on a salary are not paid overtime. Sure, some get bonuses, but the costs go up anyway. The fact is that companies facing quiet quitting, whether as extreme as my example or not, are (typically) screwed.
So, how’s to blame?
The Burden of Responsibility
Business owners are claiming that employees are becoming "lazy."
Employees are saying too bad because “I shouldn’t have to work extra if it’s not part of the job.”
Both sides are right.
But the “blame” always comes back to the business leaders and owners.
When you set your business up to exploit a resource, that’s fine as long as there’s enough of that resource. Tree-cutters were fine until we had endangered forests.
The supply of people willing to put up with undesirable working conditions is shrinking. It sucks for businesses built on the back of that labour.
But there’s another side to this most people don’t want to tell you. This one is for employees who are reading this, nodding along.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
If you don’t want to go above and beyond at work, that’s your right and your choice. But you can't point fingers and play the victim when someone else does (and gets promoted for it).
This is capitalism. Ask farmers who take weekends off what their bank accounts look like.
The Obstacle is the Opportunity
This is the best news for you if you’re willing to go above and beyond. The job market is starving for people willing to put in that work. Will you get paid the exact amount you deserve? Probably not at first.
Hard work is always one of the top three traits of highly successful people. Just be careful not to get too greedy in the process. Negotiate hard after you’ve proven your value. If you don’t get that raise, another company will hire you since there are so few like you (who go above and beyond) these days.
Naturally, starting your own business is also an option. If you’re willing to outwork your competition, you’re already one step in the right direction.
Business owners: I’ll be publishing insights from companies who have successfully beaten quiet quitting. They’re the same companies that beat the great resignation. Stay tuned.
Let me know if any questions.
Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.
PS - Don’t you miss the days when people quit like Jerry Maguire? My favourite part is when he says, “I’m leaving. Who’s coming with me??” and literally nobody moves.