There’s no doubt about it, employees across the country are retiring at work.
Labor productivity is slowing this year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The government agency comes up with this measure by taking output per hour and dividing that number by an index of all workers – paid and unpaid.
Although this measure increased by a modest 0.3% in the third quarter, it is not enough to compensate for what was lost in the first half of the year. After falling 7.4% in the first quarter, productivity in the second quarter fell another 4.1%, according to the BLS.
It’s another blow for employers struggling to keep their employees engaged. First there was the “great resignation”. And now there is a quiet surrender.
Quitting quietly, a workplace trend that has swept the country, doesn’t have to mean quitting your job. Instead, it simply refers to doing the bare minimum. The term has gone viral on social media, especially on TikTok.
Should we jump on the trend?
The trend has already started
Quiet surrender is in stark contrast to the culture of the hustle – the “go-getter” mentality that consistently promotes over-performance and exceeding expectations.
Although silent abandonment is a relatively new term, a large number of workers are already doing it.
According to a ResumeBuilder.com survey of 1,000 American workers in August, 21% of respondents say they do only the bare minimum. Another 5% say they make even less than they are paid for.
The trend of silent abandon also manifests itself in the time people devote to their work. In the survey, a third of respondents say they have reduced their weekly working hours by more than 50%.
Zaid Khan, the 24-year-old software developer and musician behind this popular TikTok video, explains why he no longer subscribes to the hustle culture mentality.
“Overwork only gets you so far in corporate America,” he said in an interview reported by Bloomberg. “And as many of us have experienced over the past few years, mental and physical health really takes a back seat to productivity in many of these structured corporate environments.”
In the ResumeBuilder survey, 83% of respondents who do the bare minimum say they are “definitely” or “somewhat exhausted.”
Finding a balance between work and life is another important reason for the increase in silent renunciation.
Read more: ‘Stay out of ‘Financial La La Land’: Suze Orman says most Americans need to do it now to survive their next crisis
“Some employees no longer feel connected to their job or workplace and have a much stronger desire to focus their attention on their family and personal life,” says Stacie Haller, career strategist and coach. “With this shift in priorities, you see less willingness to engage in ‘bustle culture’.”
Of course, there are several obvious downsides to the trend.
While acknowledging that people unhappy with their current work situation probably don’t want to go beyond that at work, Haller says quitting quietly “isn’t productive.”
“Disillusioned employees would be better off talking with their managers about how to improve their current situation or working with a job search coach to start looking for a more exciting opportunity,” she suggests.
Investment mogul and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary is another critic, and calls the silent shutdown “a really bad idea”.
“People who go above and beyond to try to solve problems for the organization, their teams, their managers, their bosses, they are the ones who succeed in life,” he explains on CNBC. “People who turn off their laptops at 5 a.m., want that balance in life, want to go to the football game, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. only, they don’t work for me.”
Only time will tell if the new trend of quietly quitting smoking is here to stay or will fade.
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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.
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