The term “quiet quitting” was first popularised on TikTok in July 2022 . Subsequently, it received a mix of responses from both employees and employers. On one hand, some view it as a way of safeguarding employee mental health, claiming it to be an antidote to “hustle culture”. On the other hand, some believe it to be a rather emotional response that can affect one’s professional development and display of work ethics.
But what exactly is quiet quitting? Is this act ideal in countering the dangers of hustle culture?
“Quiet Quitting” in Singapore context
“Quiet quitting” is an attitude of sticking closely only to what is required in the job scope and completing the bare minimum. Oftentimes, employees adopt the attitude to “quit” the cycle of overworking and overtime, a common aspect of Singapore’s hustle culture.
In a 2019 study done by tech company Kisi, it was found that Singapore is known to have long work hours such that we are ranked second most overworked country among 40 cities . 73% of Singaporean employees are unhappy with our 45 hours work week, with 62% feeling burnt out .
Reasons people “quiet quit”
Individuals find themselves “quiet quitting” for reasons such as:
Is “quiet quitting” bad?
The act of “quiet quitting” can take on different meanings, depending on how it is done. Usually, we may not be able to set firm boundaries for ourselves at the workplace, leading to miscommunication and burnouts. Therefore, it is essential for employees and employers alike to create a space for open communication and enforcement of boundaries, especially if the workplace has a culture of expecting employees to overwork.
However, it is also worth considering:
Responding to “quiet quitters”
For employers, it can be a rather tough situation to be in when noticing signs of “quiet quitting” in their employees. Despite employers having good intentions to improve employee mental health, we may not know the appropriate compromise for both parties even after opening up discussions about boundaries. In that case, there are a few pointers for employers to take note of, to better convey concern for employees’ mental health :
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 Christian, A. (2022). Why ‘quiet quitting’ is nothing new. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20220825-why-quiet-quitting-is-nothing-new
 Today Online. (2019). Singapore ranks 32 out of 40 for work-life balance, second most overworked city. TODAY. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/singapore-ranks-32-out-40-work-life-balance-second-most-overworked-city
 Singapore Business Review Staff Reporter. (2022). Singapore named most overworked country in APAC. Singapore Business Review. https://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/in-focus/singapore-named-most-overworked-country-in-apac
 Mental Health Foundation. (2021). Work-life balance. Mental Health Foundation. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/a-z-topics/work-life-balance
 headversity. (2022). The Toxicity of Hustle Culture: The Grind Must Stop. headversity. https://headversity.com/the-toxicity-of-hustle-culture-the-grind-must-stop/
 Robinson, A. (2022). Quiet Quitting: How to Prevent & Combat it at Work. teambuilding. https://teambuilding.com/blog/quiet-quitting