Demanding everyday work: "Quiet Quitting": Why many employees only work to rule - and why that's not a bad thing

Overtime, calls and e-mails after work, as well as additional tasks are part of everyday life for many employees.

Demanding everyday work: "Quiet Quitting": Why many employees only work to rule - and why that's not a bad thing

Overtime, calls and e-mails after work, as well as additional tasks are part of everyday life for many employees. However, this does not mean that they simply want to accept this. There is a lot of talk on social media about "Quiet Quitting", which means "silent termination". The term describes how employees refuse to commit themselves excessively to their employer - and instead secure their own freedom.

The term became popular thanks to a TikTok video by the user "zaidleppelin", which has now been viewed almost three and a half million times. In it, the user explains what's behind the phenomenon: You don't quit your job, but you no longer go the proverbial "extra mile" for the employer. "Work is not your life, your value as a human being is not defined by your productivity," the video says.

Since then, there has been a lot of talk about "Quiet Quitting", especially in the USA - apparently many employees feel unhappy, stressed and overwhelmed by their everyday work. They actually like their work, don't even think about quitting their job, but often no longer want to accept the demands that are placed on them. This includes, for example, regular overtime, irregular working hours or other tasks that are not actually in their contract - and for which they are not paid.

In many companies, this additional commitment was always implicitly expected. But the pandemic has exacerbated the problem again: In many industries there is a major shortage of staff because employees have given notice (or have been given notice) but operations have to be maintained. Therefore, those who still work in the company have to do more. In some areas, which are now returning to normal after the corona restrictions, this is even causing pure chaos - for example at airports.

For the "quiet quitters" the following applies: closing time is closing time. They expect it to give them more time for family, friends and hobbies, as well as better mental health. Many fear burnout if they don't change anything in their current work routine. And when they do more than is actually asked of them, they want to be rewarded for it. "If you want people to show exceptional commitment, offer them something in return," advises startup consultant Ed Zitron to employers in an interview with US radio station NPR. "Show them a direct path from 'I do my best' to 'I'll be rewarded for it'." And: There should always be an opportunity to say 'no' to additional tasks.

In Germany, too, the idea of ​​"Quiet Quitting" could fall on fertile ground. After all, extra work is part of everyday life here too: According to the Federal Statistical Office, an average of 4.5 million people worked overtime in Germany last year. This corresponds to twelve percent of the employees. Almost 22 percent of overtime was not paid.

Incidentally, the term "quit quitting" should not be confused with "internal termination", in which employees are so dissatisfied that they only perform a small amount of work - or at least less than provided for in their contract. "The term suggests that workers who just do their job have quit in some way. Workers come off as bad guys if they just do the job by the book," Ed Zitron agrees. Anyone who does not work for free gets the feeling that they are stealing from the company.

Experts therefore warn against misinterpreting the trend towards "quiet quitting": It's not about lack of motivation, but about setting boundaries for your own good, setting priorities and avoiding overload. Actually something that should be taken for granted.

Sources: "zaidleppelin" on TikTok /

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