Quiet quitting is a phenomenon that took over the internet after going viral on TikTok. Yet, it’s been popular even before Generation Z. What’s quiet quitting, and can it help your mental health?
Quiet Quitting – An Old Idea Under A New Name
The first name for quiet quitting was born on, probably, the most popular social media platform right now – TikTok. Of course, after it was explained by user @zkchillin in a July 2022 video, the idea of it took the internet by storm. “You’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond,” he stated in the viral video. “You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life; the reality is it’s not, and your worth as a person is not defined by your labor.” Despite acquiring a new name, the idea of it is not as fresh. In the past, coasting had been described the same – workers did the bare minimum at a workplace.
Although some employees managed to pull their salary with the smallest effort, quiet quitting has become a big deal in modern society. “Although this has come from a younger generation and in new packaging, this trend has been studied under different names for decades: disengagement, neglect, withdrawal,” said Anthony Klotz, associate professor at the University of College London’s School of Management. There are a few reasons for that, including non-transferable skills, benefits, and flexibility that tie them down to the current position.
So, how is it different from coasting and why does it resonate with the younger generations?
Preserving Mental Resources With Quiet Quitting Techniques
Despite being compared to coasting, quiet quitting is a little different. When someone doesn’t see a point in spending additional resources at a workplace, be it mental or physical, they don’t have to slack off and miss deadlines. Instead, they simply complete the most essential tasks for their position. For example, they don’t stay at the workplace after five p.m. And that, in particular, can help both younger and older worker shield their mental health from additional damage. “Arriving early to work and staying late, helping a colleague out at the expense of your own tasks, showing as much dedication to your role as possible – these are extra behaviours that go the extra mile for an organisation, but can take a personal toll,” said Klotz.
Since the pandemic worsened the situation, and mental health discussions took part in every life aspect, quiet quitting has gotten more popular. That said, generation Z would rather prioritize the time they spend with society, nature, and themselves over a full-time job. Furthermore, going through the pandemic, political issues, and a financial crisis definitely left a mark on the younger generation. People are no longer eager about doing the utmost in the office. Indeed, when you’re not overworking, there’s a healthy life-work balance preserved.
“We always need to strive to find a good work/life balance—making sure our job doesn’t dominate all of our waking time, alongside still being present and interested in our work,” said Elena Touroni, PhD, a consultant psychologist and founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.