Bombay Shaving Company’s CEO Shantanu Deshpande has come under a lot of fire for suggesting that freshers work for at least 18 hours in their new job. In a short LinkedIn post, the founder suggested that instead of indulging in “rona-dhona”, as a youngster, you must “worship your work”. In one swift move, he calls out to all young millennials and Gen Z who lay importance on stuff like “'work-life balance, spending time with family, rejuvenation bla bla” instead of “devoting” themselves to their job.
While the internet is left divided on the subject, some netizens are suggesting it might be time to “quiet quit”.
After the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting is taking the internet by storm. While some have been rallying for the cause, others are not so happy about the trend. I came across the term when one of my friends at work told me that our colleague had quiet quit their job. I was surprised, but not as much as I was the next day, when I saw them working at their desk.
Naturally, I had a bone to pick with my friend who’d given me incorrect gossip. I marched on to her desk and interrogated her on the matter, to which she burst out laughing. After the aforementioned awkward moment, a few Google searches, and some quick reads, I understood what she meant.
What is quiet quitting?
Contrary to what the word might suggest, quiet quitting essentially means that a person does the bare minimum at their job, without taking on any responsibilities that might lie outside their KRA. While the concept started making waves in China in 2021 after an employee said their organisation prioritised work over mental health, the controversial term was coined by a 24-year-old engineer, Zaid Khan in a wildly popular TikTok video.
“Quitting the idea of going above and beyond at work. You’re still performing your duties but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work had to be your life.”
While many are advocating that quiet quitting might be the right way to attain a healthier work-life balance, others have some brutal remarks about the trend.
Quiet quitting is for the lazy
The whole idea behind quiet quitting is to work enough to keep your job. You sit down at your check-in time, finish your work, and not a thing more, and log out right when your working hours end.
The debate is on as a lot of employers are suggesting that quiet quitting is just a way of being lazy and incompetent, a tag often associated with the present generation. Wall Street Journal recently published an article highlighting Gallup’s survey on U.S. employee engagement– Gen Z and younger millennials reported the lowest engagement of all during the first quarter at 31%.
Canadian businessman Kevin O’Leary who appeared on Shark Tank as one of the Sharks recently took to the internet to share some rather undivided remarks on quiet quitting. Calling it “a cancer to culture”, the chairman at O’Shares Investment Advisers questioned what kind of company culture are we cultivating by working just 9-5?
The pandemic pondering
Many who have dived deep into the matter have suggested that quiet quitting might be attributed to the pandemic. Flexible work hours, work from home setup, and distant, unquestioning management has prompted the younger generation to believe that that is how work is supposed to be. Youngsters who started work during this era don’t want to move to more robust, hectic work environments.
On the other hand, some working people are suggesting that the pandemic has lent to them an additional perspective on how work is supposed to be a part of your life, not your entire life. When the same amount of work can be done in a healthier way, in a more comfortable setup, what is the need for pestering deadlines and hounding workspaces?
What does the accused generation have to say?
Youngsters who are being openly called out for trying to do just the bare minimum at their job, have a rather simple question to ask– why would we work for something we’re not paid for?
Quiet quitting is about setting stringent boundaries that ensure that work stays at the office, and there is scope for life outside of work. With a lot of companies dealing with rising attrition rates, the workload is perpetually shifted to the employees who decide to stay on. Once the increased workload becomes acceptable, the HR tosses out the whole idea of hiring someone for the job that is already being done.
Some founders are making a shift in their working style– a move from transactional leadership (based on a reward and punishment system) to transformational leadership (involving motivating your team and ensuring their happiness in the workspace). Others are saying that quiet quitting is becoming the norm, one that doesn’t need to be feared.
A small portion of the said accused generation has also said that quiet quitting has been prevalent for years. The negative connotation of the term is hampering the ideal balance. Quiet quitting is not a nightmare, it is the dream that is meant to be.
While we sit on the fence about the whole debate, all we call for is a healthy-work life balance. From setting healthy boundaries at work to making the most of your job, we believe in raising your power wherever you go.
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