What is ‘quiet quitting’ and why are employees loving it?

Not up for joining the Great Resignation? Well, “quiet quitting” might be more your pace.

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The approach to dealing with work has become popular on TikTok. However, TikTok users have a tendency to relabel pre-existing behaviors, cultural traditions and common knowledge as new trends. So you may have quietly quit before.

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As The Independent‘s culture writer Clémence Michallon described it, “‘Quiet quitting’ is another way of saying you have healthy boundaries with your boss.”

What is quiet quitting?

Teacher @millenialmsfrizz explained on TikTok, quiet quitting is simply when a worker does not go above and beyond their agreed-upon and/or contractual duties. That means no coming in early and staying up late. That means no taking on extra responsibility without extra compensation. That means being as invested as the job requires, not as invested as your boss demands.

“Remembering that a work contract is a business transaction is the most normal, sensible thing of all,” Michallon wrote. “It is an exchange of something (money) against something else (labor). Keeping in mind what you’re being paid for — and what you’re not — is basic common sense.”

Quiet Quitters on TikTok find the mentality liberating

TikToker Clayton Farris said after learning about quietly quitting, he realized it’s what he had been forced to do for years. He mentally checked out from work while still doing his job.

“I still work just as hard. I still get just as much accomplished. I just don’t stress and internally rip myself to shreds. And it’s beautiful!” he said.

There is nothing groundbreaking about choosing to have a work-life balance and opting out of exploitation. But in the U.S., where wages have stagnated for decades (while businesses make record-breaking profits and CEOs score bigger bonuses), hustle culture dominates, and workers are always expected to go above and beyond.

If you’re not being paid a living wage — and the minimum wage is far from that — then just showing up for work is arguably going above and beyond. People are sick of having to work in inhumane conditions for inhumane pay. Some workers are unionizing, some are winning lawsuits, and others are quitting. And TikTokers are discovering quietly quitting.

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