What is quiet quitting? How to spot and prevent it in the workplace

May 15, 2023

    quiet quitting

    What is quiet quitting?

    Quiet quitting has emerged as a notable work culture trend, particularly among younger professionals. While quiet quitting can negatively impact workplace morale and productivity, it also highlights important issues surrounding work-life balance, mental well-being, and the need for employees to detach their self-worth from their professional accomplishments. The growing awareness of quiet quitting encourages both employees and employers to address these concerns and seek healthier ways to foster engagement and satisfaction.

    Quiet quitting refers to employees doing the bare minimum required for their jobs putting in no more effort, time, or enthusiasm than necessary. This behaviour is most prevalent amongst younger Gen Z professionals and is a coping mechanism for job dissatisfaction or burnout.

    Quiet quitting may lead employees to detach their egos from their work, not strive for perfection, and instead focus on completing the essential tasks they are assigned.

    Reasons for quiet quitting

    As an employer, understanding the reasons behind quiet quitting can help you to identify potential issues and take preventative measures to reduce employee turnover.


    According to the World Economic Forum,, this is a primary driver of quiet quitting, especially amongst younger professionals in their 20s. In its 2021 Global Risks Report, findings showed that deteriorating mental health since the beginning of the pandemic has left 80% of young adults vulnerable to depression, anxiety and disappointment.


    Technological advancements in workplace productivity tools have inadvertently created a culture of being “always on” and “constantly reachable”, according to Forbes. This can lead to unrealistic expectations for employees and puts a lot of pressure on them, which can backfire and lead to them disengaging entirely.

    Poor work environment

    If an employee feels that their workplace culture is toxic or that they’re not receiving the support they need to perform at their jobs, they may choose to check out of their roles mentally and do only the bare minimum required.

    How to spot a quiet quitter

    Identifying a quiet quitter can be challenging. However, there are several signs that employers can look for, including decreased engagement and increased absenteeism. Employers should be proactive in addressing these issues and engaging with their employees to reduce the likelihood of quiet quitting.

    Here are some signs to keep a lookout for:

    • Minimal effort and enthusiasm for tasks
    • Lack of initiative or creativity
    • Withdrawal from team activities
    • Poor communication with colleagues
    • Decreased commitment to professional growth

    By recognising these indicators, managers can actively identify and address the underlying causes of quiet quitting and retain valuable team members.

    The impact of quiet quitting

    Quiet quitting brings about various consequences that affect individuals and organisations in distinct ways.

    On individuals

    Employees who engage in quiet quitting may experience a decline in career growth, as reduced efforts can result in fewer opportunities for advancement. Additionally, it may lead to feelings of disconnection and reduced job satisfaction.

    On organisations

    When workers practice quiet quitting, it can negatively impact a company's overall productivity and morale. This behaviour may also discourage motivated employees who notice their colleagues' lack of engagement, potentially spreading disengagement throughout the organisation. Furthermore, employers may face difficulties in retaining top talent, as they remain unaware of the underlying issues causing quiet quitting.

    Strategies to prevent quiet quitting

    Create a supportive environment

    Establishing a healthy work-life balance is crucial in preventing quiet quitting. Managers should ensure employees are not overwhelmed with excessive job demands or long work hours. This can be done by encouraging regular breaks and respecting employees' boundaries regarding overtime and weekends.

    Practice effective communication

    Open lines of communication help identify and address employees' concerns early on. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions facilitate transparent discussions about workload and job satisfaction, mitigating the risk of quiet quitting.

    Recognise employee contributions

    Appreciating and acknowledging employees' efforts and achievements fosters a positive and inclusive work environment. This can help reduce the chances of quiet quitting by making employees feel valued and respected.


    In conclusion, quiet quitting can have a significant impact on an organisation, leading to decreased productivity, increased turnover, and a negative work environment. Employers need to be aware of the signs of quiet quitting and take proactive steps to prevent it.

    By addressing these issues before they escalate, employers can foster a positive and productive work environment and retain valuable employees.

    bottom banner

    This post was written by: Leanna Seah, Content Manager