Quiet quitting: The workplace trend taking over TikTok – BBC

By Perisha Kudhail
BBC News

Imagine a workplace culture where doing what your job description says is considered enough? No more going above and beyond, trying to impress the boss.
As the world of work has experienced a drastic change since the pandemic, the change in workplace culture has resulted in a mindset that is currently dominating social media: "quiet quitting".
Despite the name, it actually has nothing to do with quitting your job.
It means doing only what your job demands and nothing more. Quitting doing anything extra. You still show up for work, but stay strictly within the boundaries of your job requirements. So no more helping out with additional tasks or checking emails outside work hours.
Since the pandemic, an increasing number of young workers have grown tired of not getting the recognition and compensation for putting in extra hours. They're saying no to burnout, and instead focusing on work-life balance. The movement is centred around self-preservation and "acting your wage".
The term "quiet quitting" has taken off recently after American TikTokker @zaidlepplin posted a video on it that went viral, saying "work is not your life".
Perhaps surprisingly, the overall movement may have its origins in China, where the now-censored hashtag #tangping, meaning "lie flat", was used in protest against the long-hours culture.
Georgia Gadsby March, 24, from Devon, worked in marketing for a retail and homeware company where she was doing overtime with no reward.
After starting her admin support role, she began taking on more responsibility and was working nearly 60 hours a week.
She approached her managers about being compensated for the extra responsibility.
"I was promised a pay rise, but it never materialised into anything. I felt humiliated," she says.
"When I was working during Covid, it felt safer to quiet quit than to leave and look for another job. It was a turbulent time."
Georgia began to turn down work that was outside her job description and was met with criticism and often accused of slacking.
But she didn't care. "It felt like I was giving the power back to myself," she says.
Georgia eventually left her job.
Emma O'Brien, 31, from London quiet quit from her job as a personal assistant within the retail sector, after also being turned down for a pay rise.
"My workload had been increased and I was taking care of the whole team during Covid," she says.
She chased her boss for a couple of weeks about a pay rise, and by the time they had the conversation and he said no, "that was the last straw", says Emma.
"That was why I literally ended up doing what I was supposed to do to get the job done and nothing more.
"I felt empowered and motivated because I had mentally checked out of that job a few weeks before."
Emma quiet quit her job for a year before recently deciding to move on.
Not everyone's on board with the quiet quitting phenomenon.
Workplace decorum expert Pattie Ehsaei expressed her disagreement with it in this TikTok video, saying you'll never succeed at work with that mindset.
"Quiet quitting is doing the bare minimum required of you at work and being content with mediocrity," she told the BBC.
"Advancement and pay increases will go to those whose level of effort warrants advancement, and doing the bare minimum certainly does not."
Career coach and podcast host Joanne Mallon says many of her clients have already started to quiet quit when they come to her for coaching.
She says that while she would never advise someone to quiet quit, she asks them what their reasons are for doing so.
"Everybody has quiet quit at some point in their lives, but ultimately it might be a sign that it's time to move on and get out of a space physically," she says, as both Georgia and Emma eventually did.
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