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What is Quiet Quitting? 3 ways this Trend Could Affect your Startup


Quiet quitting is the latest work related social media trend that you’ve never heard of. The concept of checking out of the grind and doing the bare minimum in your role, this trend has left us asking how this online idea could affect life at your startup.

Quiet quitting - what is it?

Quiet quitting, in its essence, is the rejection of the traditional work ethic where a job takes priority over everything else. In times gone by, employees would do everything possible to please managers, working overtime was normal, as was putting work before family.

But no more. Quiet quitting is an adoption of the bare minimum. Staff will complete the work they’re contractually obliged to do, and nothing more. Quiet quitting means to do just enough to not get noticed by managers for the wrong reasons, but to never do more than is necessary.

So how can this new trend impact your startup?

Woman sat on a armchair looking at a laptop

1. Challenge to culture

As workplaces go, startups are usually very positive and staffed by ambitious, exciting people looking to create something new and challenging. This culture often provides a framework for the early success of a startup, with people happy to go above and beyond for a greater cause.

But, if even one person in a small team decides to opt out of this approach, the knock on effects could cause a significant drag on progress.

In early stage startups, most roles are important and employees usually have to cover several responsibilities. One quiet quitter amongst the pack could leave you frustrated and behind in your growth plan.

Two people standing over a desk

2. Remote working models

Quiet quitting is marketed on social media as the answer to employee burnout. So quiet quitters may be more inclined to take up remote and flexible working options, where managers and colleagues aren’t around to collaborate and drive motivation and productivity.

In such cases, startups may want to consider whether remote working is viable for everyone. And, you should think about having robust processes in place to monitor employee outputs and provide regular opportunities for review meetings.

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3. Burnout, but not as you know it

Quiet quitting is the antidote to burnout, without actually being burnt out.

As employees start to feel overwhelmed they may adopt this quiet quitting posture, preventing them from breaking down. Although preventative (great), this poses a challenge. It could imply that a systemic problem’s present in the startup, raising the question…

Are you creating an environment that employees can’t cope with?

What’s certain, is with this phenomenon, problems won’t be highlighted or raised with management, meaning they continue to have an impact.

So, you may want to ensure that employees have opportunities to talk and feel comfortable raising issues as they arise.

Woman with her head on the table

In summary

Quiet quitting poses some challenges to startups. And, if left unchecked, it could become problematic, impacting the culture and possibly the success of the company. Leaders and founders should take the issue seriously and make sure that employees are empowered to raise issues regarding workload and environments before they become more of a problem.

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