“In order to avoid burn out And there are three things I need to do to live a happy life,” said career content creator Genesis Hinckley in a TikTok post. “Work 9-5, make use of sick and mental health days … and end up being as loyal to the company as they are to you,” she recommended in an interview for DW. (Also read: Are you suffering from burnout? Experts on the top warning signs and prevention tips)
Hinckley, who works at a Big Tech company, is part of a growing number of tech workers who are constantly saying “no” to pressure, overtime, and work stress. They refer to this strict adherence to job duties as “quietly quitting” when going up and out in the workplace.
In late August, posts on the subject started trending on the short-video app TikTok.
“It’s just putting boundaries and being that I’m not going to break my back to please everyone,” Hinckley said. “It’s doing its best on projects that have been assigned to you. And then quitting, not responding to emails after 5.”
Rather than being a new phenomenon, Hinckley believes Quiet to Quit is emerging quietly in the background.
Quiet leave increased during pandemic
Hinckley explained that a major driver behind the increased interest in topics on social media was the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed many workers out of the office and into their homes.
There he had free time to pursue his passion and put more emphasis on mental wellness.
“We realized that there is more to life than going to work,” Hinckley said.
While workers moved away from the pressures of work and toward personal pleasure, profits made by tech companies still very much climbed during the pandemic.
Alphabet, which owns Apple, Microsoft and Google, reported more than $50 billion (€49.92 billion) in combined profit in the second quarter of 2021.
It showed those working in the tech industry that “people can be just as productive, if not more, than working from home,” said Bonnie Dilber, a hiring manager who posted a viral post about quitting quietly. created, which was re-shared on LinkedIn, the world’s largest. Professional Network.
She told DW that working from home also provides additional “lifestyle and financial benefits” to employees.
More time for side ventures
Dilber compared the financial benefits of working from home to workers saving money on daily commutes and moving away from expensive city centers. Hinckley pointed out that people who lived at home, and did what their job description asked for, were also able to earn additional income from profitable side ventures.
“I think people saw that they were able to make money outside of their regular jobs,” Hinckley said.
Hinkley earns additional income from investing in real estate and renting out her properties on Airbnb. “I earn about the same, if it doesn’t cost me more money than my monthly salary.”
While Hinckley is happy with her current job, she believes the freedom and extra income gained from working from home in general has made people more aware of the flaws in the labor system. “I realized I wasn’t in control of my career as I thought I was.”
Dilber said the feeling of a lack of growth opportunities is an “unknown push factor” for those who choose to remain silent. “Typically, the reason for quitting quietly in the workplace is more about management and growth opportunities that make people feel like there’s no point in doing anything.”
The profit from labor in the form of income is declining globally. Wage growth has not kept pace with rising inflation, which has pushed up the prices of goods and services. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the real earnings of American workers have decreased by 3% since July 2021.
Tech companies have also been continuously announcing layoffs since May 2022, adding further pressure to the labor market. According to TruUp’s “Take Layoff Tracker”, the highest layoffs across the industry occurred in June this year, with 29,137 employees being laid off across 237 companies.
The number of layoffs dropped by about 29% by the end of August, when cool quit videos began trending on TikTok, and Google searches for the phrase hit peak popularity.
While Hinckley said the layoffs have made her more aware of good work, it hasn’t deterred her from her stance of leaving her calm. While maintaining work-life balance, she still strives to be a top performer in her role. But, Hinkley realizes that she needs to prepare herself, no matter what.
“Why are you so loyal to a company that, honestly, you can replace you in less than an hour?” He asked.
Edited by: Uwe Hessler