Loudly Shaming Hardly Seems to be the Answer to Quiet Quitting
“Sixty-five percent of people who switched to remote work during the pandemic say they feel less connected to their coworker” -Pew Research Center, December 2020 Survey
As talks about the great resignation and quiet quitting dominate the cultural zeitgeist, it’s hard to not view these as a byproduct of the normalization of remote work. Once given the opportunity to, it’s not hard to understand why most people took advantage of the fact that they were able to reclaim some of their unproductive time during the workday. Utilizing downtime to spend time with loved ones, accomplishing household tasks, or doing hobbies that would be impacted by being in the office are all great alternatives to a daily commute that is starting to seem more and more obsolete as the pandemic continues.
Yet leaders and managers alike are concerned about the impact that remote work is having on corporate cultures. We’ve collectively gotten better at collaborating asynchronously and building relationships through screens, yet it’s hard to ignore the extra layer everyone has to go through in order to build those interpersonal relationships.
Without the glue of our “work families” tying us together, it’s easy to see how the the workday starts to feel more like just a series of tasks, making it easier for employees to hop around in search of the next title or raise. Even those who stay value their work-life balance more than going above and beyond. Why is this a bad thing?
America has an obsession with working where our identities are tied to our job, it’s hard for us to completely separate ourselves when away from the office, and we work more than many other countries. According to the International Labour Organization, the United States is the most overworked developed nation in the world. If an employee is able to perform their job in the designated amount of time, allowing them to achieve a healthy work-life balance that makes them happier both inside and outside of work, where is the harm?
The main complaint seems to be that employees are no longer going above and beyond their responsibilities. Yet it seems counterintuitive to avoid properly compensating people for the additional value they’re delivering while also refusing to hire additional staff to avoid the need of people overextending themselves at work. A properly balanced workplace that appreciates its employees and allocates resources appropriately should be something that all companies aspire to be, even without the threat of quiet quitting hanging over their heads.