If you're on The Internet, you've heard about "quiet quitting" by now: the idea that workers have stopped going above and beyond for their jobs. It involves a tangible change in work hours and effort, but it's also a mindset that's intended to reduce work-related stress.
The framing of it—quiet quitting—makes it feel like you're getting away with something or like you've discovered the next great life hack. It's no wonder it's become the buzzword-du-jour. And it's led to all sorts of hot takes. Some people think it's "a step toward quitting on life." Others support the idea, but not the term: as Danielle Cohen put it in The Cut, "I'll just be calling that work."
My hot take? Quiet quitting isn't just an opportunity for employees to reduce burnout—it's also an opportunity for companies to succeed.
With the Great Resignation, we saw large numbers of retail and service workers decide they'd had enough, but even before the stress and increased risk brought on by the pandemic, burnout had become a well-known and common occupational phenomenon.
I'd argue that the buzz around quiet quitting is indicative of a cultural shift. The idea may not be new, but it's captivated the current zeitgeist for a reason. People are questioning what their relationship to work should look like and taking steps to protect their well-being ahead of their company's bottom line.
I've worked in some form of customer support for the past decade, so I understand exactly why it's those customer-facing roles that burn out first. In many cases, customer support roles are paid the least and have the least amount of power and autonomy. But more importantly, as Mathew Patterson of Help Scout points out, customer service is often used to cover up more detrimental underlying issues.
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