February 3, 2023

The Silent Quits: Why That Disinterested Coworker in the Office Could Just Be Disillusioned with the Job

  • ‘Silent quitters’ are those who do the bare minimum in the workplace
  • Experts now say they are not lazy but disillusioned
  • Only 9% of UK workers are ‘engaged’ in their jobs
  • Experts believe staff value work-life balance more after lockdowns

They have stopped working and are now doing the bare minimum in the workplace.

However, experts say that workers who “keep quiet” are not lazy, but disillusioned.

The trend, which is believed to have started in China and encouraged on social media, is causing employees to contribute less and less.

The UK in particular could be prone to it after research found that only 9 percent of British workers are ‘engaged’ in their jobs, placing the country 33rd out of 38 countries.

According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, a total of 41 percent suffer from daily stress, with 15 percent experiencing anger in the workplace and 20 percent reporting sadness.

The quiet trend to quit has coincided with massive layoffs after the Covid pandemic, with hundreds of thousands of people leaving the workforce.

The UK could be particularly prone to ‘silent quitters’ after research shows that only 9 per cent of UK workers are ‘engaged’ in their jobs. Image: file image

Labor experts believe that staff are now placing more value on a good work-life balance after lockdowns.

James Barrett, of recruiting firm Michael Page, said quietly quitting has challenged pre-pandemic “hustle culture,” where staff would work their way up the career ladder by staying late and taking on additional projects.

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He added: “Pre-pandemic, getting a promotion or pay raise may have been the primary definition of success, but things look a little different in this new landscape.

“Over the past two years, people have been making people sit back and take stock of what really matters to them.

“Companies that aren’t one step ahead of what workers want in a post-pandemic world, amid a cost of living crisis, will be the first to lose these silent quitters.”

Psychologist Dr Maria Kordowicz, from the University of Nottingham, said: ‘There was a sense of our own mortality during the pandemic – something very existential about people thinking, ‘What should work mean to me?’

“I think this has a link to the elements of quietly quitting that may be more negative – mentally quitting work, being exhausted by the volume of work and the lack of work-life balance that affected many of us during the pandemic. ‘