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Quiet quitting and the effect on the workplace

Written by Staff Writer

November 15, 2022

By Silke Rathbone

Have you noticed that the “lights are on but no one’s at home” for some of your staff?

Quiet quitting is the current new workplace buzzword, and although it seems like a resignation, it instead describes a fight against the hustle-bustle culture.

The COVID-19 pandemic restricted public meetings and caused many people to reassess their careers. As a result, not only did millions lose their employment, but millions also re-evaluated their jobs and quit!

People are not only leaving their jobs, but they also want to have more of a work-life balance. Quiet quitting is the new way to do just enough to get by at a job.

Understanding the term quiet quitting

Quiet quitting means employees have limited their tasks to their job description to avoid extended hours. They want to accomplish the bare minimum and create clear boundaries to achieve work-life balance. These employees still do their jobs but don’t subscribe to the ‘work is life’ culture to lead their careers and stand out to their seniors. Instead, they do what’s in their job description and when they leave work, they leave ‘work’ at the office.Quiet quitting could also mean that an employee is unhappy at work or is feeling burned out. The employee deals with burnout by leaving without a fuss. This helps reduce stress or could also mean they are looking for a new job or are ready to switch careers.

Why are employees quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting is trendy but not new. Poor compensation, unreasonable workload, burnout, or lack of growth prospects have caused workers to quit for years.

The pandemic transformed work culture and again highlighted quiet quitting. More people questioned their jobs and sought work-life balance. In addition, people are venting on social media or other platforms where there is an audience, and so often, this venting is fuelled by many who feel the same way! 

Working from home has impacted business dynamics since individuals and management communicate differently via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Because they’re scheduled, these interactions may feel more rigid than workplace chats. Fewer meetings might strain employee-management relations, and the feeling of regular support and appreciation can easily be lost.



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Clear signs of quiet quitting

Quiet resignation signs depend on the employee’s reasons for leaving. For example, if an employee is miserable, the indicators may be more evident than if they want a better work-life balance.

Quiet quitting indications include:

  • not attending meetings;
  • arriving late or leaving early;
  • reduction in productivity;
  • less contribution to team projects;
  • not participating in planning or meetings; and
  • lack of passion or enthusiasm;
  • lack of ways to help employees manage stress at work;
  • lack of help for employees to manage stress at the workplace to prevent burnout 

How can companies help employees?

By improving the employee experience, you can prevent disengagement. Discuss ways to make employees feel appreciated, listen to their ideas, and continually encourage them, no matter how small or mundane their role may seem.

Next, ensure reasonable workloads and work-life boundaries. Also, have regular check-ins with staff to provide clear boundaries and an open, honest relationship.

As a leader, you can help people deal with stress and put their mental health first. Businesses should use digital wellness or informal check-ins to help their employees stay healthy. A company must set and stick to work boundaries to have a good work culture.

Discuss career paths with the employee and provide them with precise, practical tasks to accomplish their goals, offering insight and encouragement along the way!

If businesses don’t assist staff in managing reasonable expectations and making them feel appreciated, there won’t be any improvement in quiet quitting.


LabourExcel specialises in offering a variety of Labour Law and HR Solutions. Silke Rathbone, one of the Principal Partners, has crafted and honed her skill set and assists corporates and individuals along the Labour journey to ensure they understand what is required of them at all levels.

  • The services Silke offers are:
  • Human and Industrial Relations Related Services
  • Retrenchments – assisting with everything relating to the restructuring of a business;
  • Unfair dismissals cases;
  • Unfair discrimination cases;
  • Drafting of employment contracts;
  • Transferring of a business as a going concern;
  • Labour Law Statutory Compliance – audit;
  • Monthly retainer packages for IR advice;
  • Outsourced HR services.


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