5 Januari 2023
The idea of slowly withdrawing from over working has gone viral. This ‘quiet quitting’ has actually been happening for decades.
On a recent Monday morning, Gemma, 25, ﬁnally decided she needed to overhaul her working life. “I opened my inbox to a load of negative emails from the company’s founder,” explains the London-based PR worker. “I was then expected to deliver big results on a tight deadline. I’d just had enough.”
However, Gemma, whose full name is being withheld over career concerns, didn’t resign. Instead, she chose to remain in her current role; she performs her tasks, but has stopped going the extra mile. “I think it’s quite clear my spark has gone, and I just get by doing the minimum,” she says. “I used to be online hours before I started work; now, I don’t log on until after 0900. I used to work so late that I didn’t have time for myself; now, I close all work apps at 1800 on the dot.”
Gemma has ‘quiet quit’ her job, a move linked to a trend that ﬁrst went viral on TikTok. The phrase was popularised by user @zkchillin in a July 2022 video that now has 3.5 million views, spawning an online phenomenon. “You’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond,” he explained. “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 labour.”
Why ‘quiet quitting’ is booming
Klotz believes that the idea of quiet quitting is particularly resonating at the moment because of the pandemic, and the increased conversations around mental health.
In many instances, says Klotz, employees are taking action to stave off burnout. “Quiet quitting is effectively redrawing boundaries back to the job description so that people aren’t thinking about work 24/7. Instead, they’re dedicating time and energy to other elements of their lives that are more meaningful, leading to improved wellbeing.”