Quiet Quitting: What Each Generation Thinks About the Work Trend

What are your thoughts on quiet quitting?

“Quiet quitting” is the latest workforce trend, and not everyone is amused. Despite its name, quiet quitting does not actually mean silently resigning from your job. It actually refers to the act of refusing to take on more tasks than you signed up for. Quiet quitting as a term was first coined in 2009 by American economist Mark Boldger, but it’s only recently gained traction as mental health and work-life balance become more important with the onset of the pandemic. Quiet quitting is defined by doing only what your job requires, no more no less, in order to prevent occupational burnout and unhealthy work habits. 

It’s essentially the exact opposite of the work philosophy adopted by older generations, which demands you to go all out for your career. In a U.S. survey by YouGov, researchers found substantial data on the generational divide on quiet quitting, and essentially, work culture. 

Infographic: The Generational Divide on 'Quiet Quitting' | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

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Unsurprisingly, older generations are not pleased with this latest work trend, which goes against the values instilled during their time. Keep in mind that Boomers and Gen X were raised in the post-war era before late-stage capitalism became the butt of all jokes. Nowadays, Gen Z and Millennials value life and health more than work, no doubt inspired by their experiences during the two-year pandemic. 

Based on the survey and infographic, older age groups are more likely to believe that “employees should always go above and beyond at work.” Meanwhile, those aged 18 to 29 years old are split 50-50 on the statement. Younger age groups are also more likely to believe that “employees should do the work they’re paid for—no more, no less,” a statement that most older age groups disagree with. 

Culture is always a product of time, and our current era might just be telling us that the general attitude toward work is changing. Some might take the news negatively, seeing younger age groups as entitled or lazy. On the other hand, it might just show that Gen Zs know their worth and understand their priorities in life. 

It’s all a matter of perspective. What do you think of quiet quitting? 

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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