A lot of ink and pixels have been spent the past few months on the term “quiet quitting.” In case you’ve managed to avoid hearing about it, here’s a good succinct definition:
In a nutshell, “quiet quitting” is about rejecting the notion that work has to take over one’s life and that employees should go above and beyond what their job descriptions entail. According to Metro, this can take many forms – including turning down projects based on interest, refusing to answer work messages outside of working hours or simply feeling less invested in the role.
In other words, “quiet quitting” is the new trendy term that people with a vested interest in keeping workers’ noses to the grindstone use when said workers don’t want to go above and beyond their job descriptions. Or, to put it in even simpler terms, it’s another term for…just doing your job.
Seeing this phrase discussed on LinkedIn lately in particular has been quite an experience. CEOs and other management types are all in on lamenting what this means for their workforce. To them, it’s such a tragedy that employees no longer want to take on extra tasks and hours for the same pay. They frame it as being less passionate about work, and don’t seem to care much about the work-life balance points that are made in support.
There’s been a growing movement in support of limiting one’s work output. The new book by Tricia Hersey, Rest is Resistance, is a recent example. In it, she writes:
Our resting is not a one-time event because to disrupt grind culture there must be a global mind shift that is relentless, constant, subversive, and intentional. To push back against the machine of white supremacy and capitalism, even for ten minutes, is a miracle. this will look like rest being available to everyone. No matter your income, physical ability, sexuality, gender, geographic location, or access. It is not connected to consumerism, capitalism, or the never-ending goal of many to go viral.
Among so many other things, to rest is to resist the work-shaming that a term like “quiet quitting” means to place on those who practice it.
Work isn’t all there is in life. As the old saying goes, nobody lies on their deathbed wishing they’d spent more time at the office. We need rest, love, relationships, art, leisure, sleep, and so much more for a full and happy life.
Resist. Rest. Do all the quiet quitting that is necessary.