Is ‘quiet exit’ a good idea? Here’s what workplace experts say

Is 'quiet exit' a good idea?  Here's what workplace experts say
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Maggie Perkins said she started “leave quietly“Teaching in 2018, before TikTok even became a trend.

“There was no reason for me to rush because there are no promotion opportunities as a teacher. If you are the person who wins the teacher of the year award, [you’ll] get paid the same as someone who doesn’t,” the 30-year-old mother told CNBC.

To be clear, there is no single definition of the term silent exit. For some, this means setting boundaries and not taking on extra work; for others, it simply means not going above and beyond. Most agree that this doesn’t mean you quit.

Four years later, after quietly breaking up Perkins, who started making waves on TikTok, also made a video on how to do it as a teacher. He said in his video that this includes doing your work only during contracted hours, not taking on extra work because that’s how you flash or benefit.

“I didn’t volunteer on committees. I didn’t stay late or overtime. I just taught my classes and was a good teacher,” she said. CNBC do it in a virtual interview.

What employees are looking for

While the term quiet release is new, the concept is not.

Michael Timmes, chief human resources officer at Insperity, said there were always employees who reacted to burnout by “doing the bare minimum”.

“Today, it’s driven by Generation Z, but it’s evident across all generations. It’s rampant through social media platforms,” ​​he said.

What used to be a passive aggressive call for work-life balance is now becoming a very direct demand. It is no longer a request. Is required.

Jaya Dass

Managing Director, Singapore and Malaysia, Randstad

For Jaya Dass, Randstad’s managing director for Singapore and Malaysia, the quiet departure is a “residual effect”. Covid-19 and Great resignationwhere employees feel has the power to control his work and personal life.

“What used to be a passive aggressive issue of work-life balance is now a very direct demand,” he said.

“It’s not a request anymore, it’s a demand.”

Career coach Kelsey Wat agreed, saying that quiet resignations are now a way for workers to “stick it” to companies that see them as “another cog in the machine.”

The problem with a big resignation is that everyone has somewhere else to go, Dass added. But for individuals who think they have no alternative jobs to go to and quietly quitting became the next available option if one needed to stay on the job.

“If no one is asking you to go, why not default to less work and avoid it? You make time where you are,” Jass added.

“It can come from a general sense of hopelessness … what’s happening with inflation or the cost of living, a lot of things that people haven’t recovered from.”

Is quiet quitting beneficial and what do hiring managers think about quiet quitters?

Quitting when muted has the opposite effect

However, in theory and in practice, going silent can look different for each individual.

Experts say the concept is worrisome because it can go beyond simply striking a better work-life balance.

“Quitting quietly removes any emotional investment you might have in your work, which is sad considering most of us spend so much time at work,” Wat said.

“Most of us want to be proud of the work we do and the contributions we make. We want to see our impact and feel good about it. Quitting quietly doesn’t allow that.”

She added that it is possible to maintain healthy boundaries and stay emotionally invested in the work.

Timmes agreed, saying there’s a difference between having a better work-life balance and being “totally disengaged.”

From an office perspective, silent resignations can cause conflicts among employees, as some employees will feel that others are not carrying their weight.

Michael Timmes

Senior Human Resources Officer, Insperity

“An employee who shows up every day, takes action, turns down certain projects due to lack of interest, and has no desire to advance in their current career or develop their skills, is a very different state of work-life balance.”

He added that if employees are focused on maximizing their hours at the office, quiet quitting can be a positive trend. “The only problem: the trend right now doesn’t reflect that mentality,” Timmes said.

There are negative qualities that silent resignations can also be perceived as, such as lack of motivation, lack of skill development, lack of flexibility and inability to work in a team environment.

“From an office perspective, silent resignations can cause conflicts among employees because some employees will feel that others are not carrying their weight,” he said.

“Overall, this can backfire on the worker and create a wave of inadequate and underdeveloped workers.”

Kevin O’Leary, star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” and investor, also said it was a “really bad idea” to quit quietly.

“People who try to solve problems for their organization, their teams, their managers, their bosses, are the ones who succeed in life,” O’Leary said.

Perkins insisted, however, that quietly quitting doesn’t mean quitting — although he acknowledged some people might.

“I appreciate my work and the hours I put in, but I just want to respect my time and energy,” she said.

Perkins has since left teaching and is now an academic advisor and full-time tutor. Now, she says she’s ready to go above and beyond for her current role.

“It’s a company that shows they value me and I get very respectful feedback from my boss, it’s a healthy work environment,” he said.

“If my boss had been really negative about me in the past, I would have just said no.”

Perkins said he kept quiet “out of necessity.”

“I had my first daughter [in 2018] … If I picked her up late from daycare, I would be fined a dollar a minute, and so if I didn’t leave as soon as my students left the building, then I would have to pay.”

Why going silent can work

Silent resignations can be beneficial in terms of giving employees more time to pursue passion projects, Timmes noted.

“A worker can think more, feel more refreshed and be more efficient during working hours.”

Wat added that silent resignations can give employees a short-term reprieve from a work environment that is “too focused on results.”

At the end of the day, quitting quietly is about challenging the long-held belief that the only way to get ahead professionally is to push your boundaries and adopt a “yes man” mentality.

“I can see how quietly leaving a season can help them refocus on their needs outside of work and hopefully lead them to overcome burnout and clarify their needs and boundaries in the workplace moving forward,” she said.

“At the end of the day, quitting quietly…is challenging the long-held belief that the only way to get ahead professionally is to push your boundaries and embrace a ‘yes man’ mentality.”

Maggie Perkins said that embracing letting go gave her more “personal happiness and satisfaction.”

Maggie Perkins

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