Our nation celebrates Labor Day to honor people who work in various fields of endeavor in order that we might enjoy a better quality of life. People who work a normal 40-hour workweek spend more time working than at any other venue during their waking hours.
Work is changing in 2022. People are not staying engaged in their places of employment. More Americans quit their jobs in April than in any other month on record, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This move towards quitting your job is not just for workers in hotels, restaurants, etc. The Bureau has a mostly white-collar category of “professional and business services” and 700,000 workers left their job in April. Again, that’s the highest monthly number ever. Even four in ten employees say that they have considered leaving their current place of work.
There’s a new term emerging–“quiet quitting.” My best understanding of this is a quote that says it evolves “not outright quitting your job, but—quitting the idea of going above and beyond.” You don’t quit your job, but you cease to give full effort to it and view it more as a time to accomplish personal interests than the employer’s expectations.
People who are practicing “quiet quitting” make it clear that they are not getting off the company payroll, but they are focusing their time on doing personal things during office hours.
One of the explanations for this trend is the fact that people are finding no purpose in their work. They see it as something being routine rather than bringing purpose to their lives.
One thing that has enhanced quiet quitters is the trend toward hybrid employees and those who work remotely. It’s easier to be a quiet quitter at home than it is in the office. One downside of this is that people miss out on the social interaction that builds good relationships and makes it tough to find someone who can mentor and coach you in your job.
Another downside to “quiet quitting” is the fact that employers keep records and evaluate performance. I believe that if an employer thinks that you are just treading water in your job and not living up to expectations, they will brand you as a person who doesn’t give 100%. That can damage a person’s career as employee records are often shared digitally.
I believe an answer to “quiet quitting” is to intentionally strike a balance between a good work ethic and the pace that shields you from burnout. Another answer is that “extra effort” will beat “quiet quitting” every time!
Another way to counter “quiet quitting” is for employers to set realistic expectations and treat employees as people rather than objects to be manipulated to improve the bottom line. The employees that feel valued and appreciated will produce much more.
I predict that if “quiet quitting” continues to trend, you will see a great drop-off in the quality of goods and services that are being offered. Our job will not be what God intended it to be by simply working less hours and happy to get good evaluations and pay raises. I’m sure you won’t see “quiet quitting” practiced by any college football team in Alabama!
Proverbs 25:13 states, “A faithful employee is as refreshing as a cool day in the hot summertime.”