Quiet Quitting – What does it mean?

Quiet Quitting – What does it mean?

Quiet Quitting is a growing trend among employees. In practice, it means refusing to go beyond what is expected, to work overtime and do extra work, and to set boundaries in that regard. This approach has become popular on social media through a TikTok video by the user "zaidleppelin," which has been viewed almost three and a half million times. In the video, the user acknowledges that the expectations of the modern work environment often extend beyond scheduled working hours and require taking on additional tasks. Quiet Quitters advocate for setting boundaries and no longer accepting this demand as the "norm."

How does Quiet Quitting manifest itself?
By refusing to take on additional tasks or responsibilities, known as Quiet Quitters, individuals can regain control over how they spend their energy and time. As most employees struggle with work-life balance and experience fatigue due to constant accessibility in the modern workplace, this approach can be liberating. It also raises questions about the expectations employers have regarding workload, which they offload onto employees while still expecting a similar level of productivity as in previous years. Quiet Quitting sets an important precedent for employees to regain autonomy over their personal time, which is essential for any healthy employer-employee relationship.
Quiet Quitting means being willing to only perform the work that was contractually agreed upon. Overtime can be declined, but that does not mean that employees lack enthusiasm or commitment to their work. Quiet Quitters demonstrate the opposite - they recognize and respect the importance of achieving a harmonious balance between work and personal life to protect both areas from overwhelm. Ultimately, this contributes to fostering a greater sense of emotional security and stability in life overall, which is often sorely missed without such understanding.
Quiet Quitting should not be confused with internal resignation. Internal resignation occurs when an employee considers leaving their current position but is still looking for better alternatives before doing so. On the other hand, Quiet Quitting refers more to behavior that does not aim to harm the employer, such as unfinished tasks and inadequate performance while still being employed. Quiet Quitting does not seek to harm the company but is rather seen as a way for employees to upgrade themselves in other companies while remaining loyal to their current one.

Reasons for Quiet Quitting
Although Quiet Quitting presents itself as a complex concept, it is important to ask what leads people down this path and how widespread it truly is. By examining how deeply rooted the problem is, we can better understand why people take such measures and have the opportunity to make improvements to decrease employee turnover over time. Through open communication, understanding the causes and frequency of turnover, companies can learn more about how to motivate their employees to keep them happy and productive in the workplace. In doing so, companies also demonstrate genuine appreciation for their employees.
It is important to recognize that in cases of Quiet Quitting, the causes may lie with the employer. Employers who adopt an overbearing attitude and constantly demand unpaid overtime without offering additional benefits or incentives can make employees feel suppressed or undervalued. Since Quiet Quitters have no means to express their frustration, they resort to silent resignation as a way to escape such a situation.
One possible reason for Quiet Quitting may be employers pressuring their employees to conform to a specific company identity—whether it is enforcing strict company values that cannot be questioned or even demanding that excessive time be devoted to activities outside of work hours that are prioritized by the company but may not necessarily align with the interests of the employees. Such demands can backfire, as this type of restriction on individual freedom often leads to reactions that can result in disgruntled employees finding a path of retaliation by silently quitting.

Are overtime hours a lifestyle in Germany?
Germany is a country where overtime hours are considered a way of life. Many people work overtime that exceeds defined working hours. In Germany, the Federal Statistical Office determined that an average of 4.5 million people worked unpaid overtime last year. While the numbers tell a story, the impact on daily life can be much greater than expected. The feeling of working too much and sacrificing personal time can significantly affect an individual's emotional and overall well-being. That's why initiatives that help people manage their working hours better are essential. Overtime should become the exception rather than the rule, so it doesn't burden mental health and both the company and the employee can benefit from the results achieved.

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