Quiet quitting, as the media reports it, is a myth.
On the heels of the Great Resignation that plagued companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses started to fear the notion of quiet quitting, an idea that went viral after Zaid Khan, a 24-year-old engineer from New York, posted a video on TikTok in July. The video, which has drawn about a half-million likes (and endless media attention), was an argument for reassessing work-life balance in a post-COVID world — by doing your job but resisting the “hustle-culture mentality” to regularly go above and beyond. Since its posting, people have latched on to the twisted notion of workers doing as little as possible, essentially causing work slowdowns without leaving their jobs.
That is nonsense. In reality, people are working harder than ever, and they are not happy about it — and that might be bad for business. A dissatisfied workforce increases the potential for insider threats, either through sabotage or exfiltrating corporate IP.
The Myth of Quiet Quitting
Let’s get this out of the way. Quiet quitting, as the media report it, is a fabrication. Productivity is up. With economic uncertainty looming around every corner of the tech world, people aren’t quitting, quietly or otherwise. Most people cannot afford to be perceived as not working hard. But that doesn’t mean they are happy in their work life. A recent Gallup survey of 15,001 workers found that 55% were “struggling” in the poll’s Life Evaluation Index, and only 24% said their organizations cared about their overall well-being — a steep drop-off from 49% in May 2020.
Employee discontent comes from two opposite extremes:
Marginal employees, fearful of a looming recession, are keeping their heads down and noses to the grindstone. But, concerned about their futures, they may be exfiltrating corporate data for their own benefit.
In the other camp, star employees, having realized that if they can work from home, they can work from anywhere, are becoming more demanding. The belief that their employer is not doing enough for them can lead to disillusionment with an organization, resulting in those “star employees” doing things that are harmful to the corporation.
Employees in both camps may be thinking of their next job while working in their current position. Employees who are looking for exit signs often wonder what they need to take with them when they walk out the door, either in a forced march or fleeing for theoretically greener pastures. And sometimes, they leave behind ticking time bombs.
Source: Dark Reading