Buzzwords are often helpful because they explain a broader phenomenon in fewer words. But inorganic buzzwords pushed through legacy media articles, such as quiet quitting, miss the point entirely, painting completely normal things in a bad light.
Going through the plethora of TikTok videos and articles, we can subsume that quiet quitting involves the following:
- Working only your hours
- Focusing only on your tasks
- Not engaging with the company outside your hours
Most people, who are not engaged with the modern corporate world, would classify quiet quitting as merely doing your job. Many companies, however, consider this approach to label employees as lazy and uninterested in their work.
This ideology may apply in industries where employees have many idle hours, often waiting for the next task. In the tech industry, though, the idea that working your hours signifies quiet quitting is preposterous.
Virtually the entirety of the tech industry has no idle hours, with most specialists being employed on per-hour contracts and not even salaried. Not to mention that the people working in tech can, by default, Google how much their job is worth and its conditions.
If an employer wants more hours from anyone, they just need to offer more money.
Either in Demand or Not
As we could have seen with the tech companies downsizing in the last few months, working in tech can come with a fair bit of risk. The industry is always changing; what is in demand today might become obsolete tomorrow. And tech industry workers are well-aware of their field’s ever-changing nature.
Issues like company loyalty are not beyond the understanding of the modern employee, nor something anyone is directly against. That said, tech specialists know that no company will support them once they become obsolete. As a result, employees will not give additional regard to their employers.
Specialists often remain loyal to companies that increase payment adequately, offer good benefits, and allow for work-life balance. Additionally, the employees will go above and beyond to bring value to a company that values them.
Conversely, when a job is in demand but has no long-term security, young tech experts have no incentive to spend extra time with the company. Rather, they will be spending that time learning new skills, networking, or spending quality time with their family and loved ones.
Work Is Often per Hour
Many people, especially in managerial positions, have agreed to work in a salaried position. Tech employees and workers, however, are not very keen on this deal, especially developers, testers, and designers.
Namely, developers will likely be stuck waiting on someone else to finish their tasks or face bottlenecks that force them to stay up late to meet a deadline. In this case, it is unreasonable to expect the developer to put in even more hours without compensation; even worse, it is insulting.
When an employee avoids this situation, it should not be seen as quiet quitting. Rather, the employee is merely looking after their interests, such as having a life outside work and meeting biological needs. The tech talent shortage should not be one employee’s problem.
Some young developers, however, might agree to work as many hours per week as possible to get more money. But other employees who do not need the extra cash should not change their minds about working their hours, especially not due to societal pressure.
After the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, many people from all sectors and positions significantly changed their outlook. Many have realized that their colleagues, no matter how friendly they are, are not as important as their friends and family.
Additionally, most people realized that with nepotism plaguing the industry, they will seldom receive rewards for going above and beyond in their company. The only thing a hard-working employee receives is burnout.
Given this situation, tech workers realized that the added hours are not worth the burnout. Their jobs rarely contribute to their personal growth, so the unpaid hours add no value to their lives.
Using time off work to learn, grow, and relax will be more fulfilling, but it simultaneously helps you advance your career. The so-called quiet quitting approach will allow you to make friends in your workplace and receive the same compensation. Meanwhile, you will not be shackled to a company leading you to burnout.
Additionally, switching jobs every few years is proven to increase payment significantly more than regular pay increases. This means job hopping and off-the-clock learning will benefit you more in the long run than pouring your life into a company that is not even yours.
For young tech entrepreneurs, the field is different but not any easier.
Loyalty Is Rewarded for Loyalty
Quiet quitting is not a lack of desire for company loyalty. In truth, most people would prefer a steady job with an employer that supports them even if something happens.
The issue is that loyalty is a two-way street. Most employees, even in tech, have learned their company does not care about them as people, only as producers. Given this situation, it is pointless giving more than you negotiated to make someone else happy.
Most young millennial and Gen-Z workers joke that if your company is a family, it is likely an abusive and dysfunctional one. But if a company cares about individuals more than money, employees will flock to it and remain with it through thick and thin.
Still, employers must realize they must share the “thick” with their employees before expecting them to go through “thin”.