What is Quiet Quitting
Has the frantic pace of work life ever made you think that the concept of work in the modern world is distorted and leads to burnout? Many specialists point out their well-being has become highly vulnerable to tight deadlines and overwhelming, non-stop working communication. This was the reason for the emergence of the concept of quiet quitting, which is an actual rejection of the need to go beyond one's limits for the sake of work goals. How modern work culture has given rise to such an approach and what outcomes you may face after choosing to follow it — read the article to find the answer.
What is quiet quitting?
Quiet quitting is a relatively new term that means refusing to undertake tasks that do not meet the position's basic requirements. Proponents of the quiet quitting work approach promote the importance of setting clear boundaries and avoiding immersion in the work of all other areas of one's life. It means not taking on all proposed projects and initiatives, not overworking, muting all communication channels after the end of the working day and during vacation, and not involving yourself in workplace conflicts on purpose. In short, quiet quitting encourages you to work exclusively on what you are supposed to get paid for.
While the question of what acceptable requirements are at work has long been in the public discourse, the issues raised by the quiet quitting movement have become even more discussed due to the popularity of the topic on TikTok. Also, this social network makes it possible to involve young people with a new vision of the place of work in life in discussions. Moreover, recent events such as the pandemic and international security issues have deepened the difficulty of distinguishing between work and leisure due to remote employment. All of this became the reason for the quiet quitting trend.
Is quiet quitting good or bad?
Obviously, for each person, there are limits beyond which they do not want to go to prevent harm to their mental and physical health. So, while one employee considers quiet quitting an act of laziness, another may think of it as a viable option for their career. However, some universal patterns apply to anyone choosing quiet quitting.
For instance, if you cut on psychological investing in your workplace by excluding yourself from any extra work and unnecessary, in your opinion, teambuilding, you get more opportunities to think about your own priorities and to build social networks that are important to you personally. Besides, you are still developing professionally by completing core tasks set out in the job contract and receiving vital training. For this reason, many feel happier after deciding to go for quiet quitting.
Still, this works only in supporting teams with an established safe space, which are not likely to overwhelm you with work in the first place. If your company can be described as a highly competitive environment with a high bar set for requirements, quiet quitting may lead to a significant drop in your performance.
First, such a decision is likely to be misunderstood because a sudden change in your professional behavior can look strange and suspicious.
Second, your colleagues may seize the opportunity and take up the most ambitious projects leaving you with tedious routine tasks.
Third, your manager can interpret your quiet quitting as a lack of motivation which is generally not welcomed to remain in a position.
So, while quiet quitting is a great idea, it is rarely practical in real workplaces and most often requires changing jobs and setting your boundaries from scratch.
How to keep your mental health at work
If you've got to the point where you're seriously considering quiet quitting, it could be a sign that your work-life balance is unstable right now. Whether you decide to practice quiet quitting at your old workplace or start all over at your new one, you can follow these tips to protect yourself from reaching the point of burnout.
- Revise your priorities. Some problems with mental health emanate from the inconsistency of life's short-term and long-term goals. Try to answer whether you are satisfied with what is happening in your life. Are this career and this company a good fit for you? Do you feel like everything is going well globally? Do you feel the need for change? These questions may spark ideas about what to do to deal with uncertainty.
- Try to resolve interpersonal conflicts. Often unresolved conflicts are sources of problems, poisoning your overall experience in the team. Neither avoiding nor deepening them are good strategies to feel better and enjoy your work. Think of the good ways to approach these situations: one-to-one, asking someone to be a mediator, or reaching out to the HR department — it depends on the nature of the conflict. Managing a painful situation can give you a second wind to continue fulfilling your daily tasks.
- Watch out for physical health. While it sounds obvious, this recommendation often gets ignored by specialists, resulting in disastrous consequences for them. Illnesses affect your mental health, so check how you eat, sleep, drink water, and exercise. In case of any additional problems, arrange all necessary appointments with your doctor.
- Reach out for help. Usually, people tend to carry everything on their shoulders when it isn't worth it. Make a list of all your responsibilities and activities and think about which are crucial and which can be delegated. In the end, you will be surprised how you can reduce the amount of your actual work.
- Communicate your needs. No one knows what you need better than yourself. For instance, a team leader can give you additional work having no idea that it will be a burden for you. Don't hesitate to ask for negotiations or some help with task management.
- Set reasonable time limits. Everyone needs free time for some rest, so don't refuse to arrange such time slots for yourself. Discuss your working and communication hours with your team, and stop using the rest of the time to settle work issues. Quality me-time is often a key to remaining sane in a turbulent environment.
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