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As a generation of first-time full time workers enter the office, a virtual union has formed on TikTok, ushering in a new type of employment that guarantees work life balance.
'Quiet quitting' is soon to become commonplace workplace vernacular, if it hasn't already. Pioneered by TikTok user 'zkchillin', their short video explaining the benefits of "quitting beyond going above and beyond in work" is already clocking in at over 2 million views.
That's almost 15% of Australia's entire labour force.%20higher%20than%20March%202020.|target="_blank"|rel="nofollow")
"You're not outright quitting your job," the creator explains in the video.
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"You're still performing your duties, but you're no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work has to be your life."
"Your worth is not defined by your productive output, you are not defined by your labour", they add.
The premise is straightforward; only do what's required of you, commence when you're paid to start and clock off when you're paid to leave and under any circumstances, don't work during personal time. Yes, that includes your lunch break.
But is this dogma actually possible? And could it be the solution to overhauling an outdated mode of work — which, in some cases, has been known to run employees into the ground with overtime commitments and underpaid jobs?
Below, we round up exactly what 'quiet quitting' entails and just how this enticing form of work could be the solution to perfecting your work life balance.
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What Is Quiet Quitting?
When Henry Ford pioneered the 40-hour work week (complete with equal amount of work, leisure and rest time) at the cusp of the industrial revolution, he was lauded for his "ahead of the time" rationale. Now, time has caught up with us.
Thanks to the pandemic, the repercussions of burnout and job dissatisfaction caught up to the workforce, with employees placing greater value on their time than ever before.
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In our capitalist society, many industries promote a culture of "more is more", meaning the more sacrifices you make and the more hours you work can result in promotions, pay rises and greater benefits when compared to co-workers who do less.
However, quiet quitting begs the question: are we framing our coworkers as doing 'less' because our industries place immense pressure on us to devote our entire lives to a job in pursuit of a career?
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It's this competitive nature that leads to a workplace that thrives on exploiting over zealous workers and breeds a society of employees believing they're obligated to go above and beyond what's outline on their job description because that is what's expected from them—if they want to get ahead.
Quiet quitting reframes these sacrifices as something that doesn't serve the best interest of the worker. Will working overtime to impress your boss and forgoing your own downtime result mean you may be considered for more opportunities? Perhaps. But what does it say about the value of your time?
Quiet quitting favours ignoring non urgent emails or calls when they're out of hours, or denying tasks or assignments because they're not included in your job description.
This notion of rejecting the conventional idea that "work must come first", argues that, if anything, your own peace of mind and happiness should be paramount. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Make like Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada and (quiet) quit.
Is Quiet Quitting Unprofessional?
The crucial element of quiet quitting isn't that you're quitting your job entirely, you're just stepping back from the overtime and hustle culture that mainstream employment can find you facing.
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For many young people, our parents we're raised on the belief that in order to get ahead in your trade or business, you had to take on extra responsibility, have a 'can do' attitude and always put your hand up for everything, regardless of how menial or strenuous the task is, as that demonstrates a valuable skill set to your employer.
However, with the digital age and work from home blurring the lines between when 'work' stops and 'life' starts, there has to be a time when enough is enough. And no, that time doesn't come after several mental breakdowns in the office bathroom because your workload is too much.
The notion that young people are considered unprofessional because they've implemented the principles of quiet quitting' is continuing to perpetuate this toxic hustle culture. Because the truth of the matter is some employers don't want you to maintain healthy boundaries or stick to what is prescribed in your contract.
In fact, we'd argue that quiet quitting is the antithesis, and something that workers have been striving to achieve since the era of the proletariat and bourgeoisie
You shouldn't feel like you're indebted to your company or required to work overtime, or that leaving on time is a privilege.
Quiet quitting doesn't mean that you do the bare minimum either, it just means that you recognise the value of your time, and under no circumstances let your work override that.
A recent study undertaken by UK based recruitment agency Randstad revealed that almost 50% of Gen Z and Millenial workers would rather be unemployed than unhappy in a job.
"Over half (56% of Gen Z, 55% of Millennials) said they'd quit a job if it prevented them from enjoying their life," reads the findings. With over 35,000 surveyed from over 34 markets, these results are a telling sign that young workers will prioritise their happiness above their career.
And with this generation the future of our workforce, isn't it time we listen to what they have to say?
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