It has become more of a talking point since the last year and a half, it is a reference to people now spending and taking the time to focus on their work/life balance front and center, versus spending most of their time at work.”  “It” is known as Quiet Quitting. The recently discovered term is understood to be a trend that a large majority of employees in the workforce have since started participating in, beginning after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a recent public meeting, the City of Phoenix’s Business and Workforce Development board referenced this specific issue, encouraging the topic to be discussed more openly amongst employers both at a local, state, and national level, as the trend is likely to continue. 

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A graph listed in an article by Jim Harter; Is Quiet Quitting Real? The Gallup, shows the trends in U.S. employees engaged vs. actively disengaged, showing that the rise of disengaged workers rose to its highest point, of 18 percent, in relation to only the 32 percent actively engaged group (Harter, 2022).

Statistically speaking, according to a poll by Axios and Generation lab, (Bienasz, 2022), research shows that Generation Z and Millennials, (anyone 35 and below) are most likely to participate in the action, as the generation prioritizes their mental health and personal well-being, over a work environment that may assume expectations above their original job contract/ or agreement.

Tyler Keeney, who is a manager at the Pueblo Athletic Center located in Pueblo Colorado, stated his concern for the movement, as it has greatly decreased the number of staff available for scheduling. Keeney stated,

“What the staff don’t realize is that the entire system is a domino effect. If one worker chooses to step back, others follow, and the work still must be done, meaning it is all left for those picking up the slack and unfortunately more work on one individual can be overwhelming which ultimately means the quality is not as high.”

Similarly, the fear is shared with Aquatics Manager Haley Alexander, at a local gym facility in Central Phoenix, Arizona. Alexander stated,

“As someone who is a part of Gen Z, I completely understand prioritizing and finding balance, however I think there is a disconnect between this and simply lacking respect or professionalism. I have employees who just don’t show up, or who work on their terms, not even meeting the bare minimum of the job standards listed in the description when they were hired on. There has to be a happy medium… If they work with me, I would be happy to work with them.”

However, as perspectives differ based on position, others don’t view quiet quitting negatively. 

Michelle Ellis, of Omaha Nebraska, who was working two jobs, but recently stepped down to one, feels that it allowed her to find a positive balance between work and home life, and decreased her stress levels. Ellis said,

“I have more freedom to focus on my personal well-being, as well as my happier professional self, I don’t see this as a detriment, it has had an improvement in the quality of my life.”

In light of all perspectives, Samuel Wolo of the the City of Phoenix’s Business and Workforce Development Board said,  “It was a controversial topic today, depending on the culture of the environment of a company. So, it’s great to have that discussion, and sharing those datapoints.”

The conversation is just beginning, but bridging the gap between employees and management staff, will create a better environment and provide answers for the frustrations they all share.