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What is ‘quiet quitting’, the latest work-related trend on TikTok?

Fed up with working longer hours without receiving additional recompense, many are reinforcing the barriers of their work-life balance.

The trend of ‘quiet quitting’ takes over TikTok

A new trend on TikTok aims to encourage workers to address their work-life balance by refusing to go above and beyond for their job. Welcome to quiet quitting.

Social media has been rife with ‘hustler culture’ content for years, pushing employees to value their jobs above all else in the hope of receiving the financial recompense at a later date. This has led to many doing unpaid overtime, working on weekends, and eventually finding themselves well and truly burnt out.

A TikTok video posted by @zkchillin (now @zaidleppelin) in July went viral and the hashtag #quietquitting gained more than 8 million views in the next few weeks. Quiet quitting does not actually involve quitting your job, but rather ‘quitting’ taking on extra work without receiving additional pay.

What do experts say about quiet quitting?

The name itself is something of a misnomer and one that does disguise the trend’s true intention somewhat. It is perhaps better to think of it as redrawing the work-life balance in your life.

Ed Zitron, who publishes worker-focused newsletter Where’s Your Ed At, believes that quiet quitting is a response to the additional burdens being placed on employees without any additional compensation.

If you want people to go ‘above and beyond,’ compensate them for it. Give them $200. Pay them for the extra work,” Zitron told NPR. “Show them the direct path from ‘I am going above and beyond’ to ‘I am being rewarded for doing so.’”

However while Zitron support the principle and the practice itself, he is less keen on the name. He explains:

“The term ‘quiet quitting’ is so offensive, because it suggests that people that do their work have somehow quit their job, framing workers as some sort of villain in an equation where they’re doing exactly what they were told.”

Employers are benefitting from the additional work that is being done without paying their workers, forcing employees to shoulder the extra burden with all the associated impacts that it may have on their personal lives. Setting those boundaries and sticking to them can be a crucial part of regaining control and carving out time for your own interests.

“It’s part of an overwhelming trend of pro-boss propaganda, trying to frame workers that don’t do free work for their bosses as somehow stealing from the company,” Zitron added.


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