What is Quiet Quitting & Why are Employees Doing it to Avoid Burnout?

By now, you probably have heard of the term called quiet quitting, this is where employees are rejecting the ‘grind’ of workplace culture and are putting limits to what they can and cannot do whilst at work, so they have a better work life balance without feeling disillusioned by their own life.

Employees no longer feel like they should go above and beyond in their job as they have acknowledged that since covid hit, they have been putting more and more pressure on themselves to keep going because they had no idea what was going to happen next, and were scared about what the current job market would offer them.

Whilst quiet quitting may sound intriguing to those who are feeling burned out and exhausted with their current job obligations, it is important to know what actually quiet quitting is, and if there are alternatives that can be thought of first.

woman sitting in front of her laptop stressed

The Workforce After Covid Hit

In a post-pandemic world, we are seeing a significant change in the workforce. Employees are taking into account what matters most to them and how they are valuing life balance over income due to the fact that they have not been in the best mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some were not able to see family and friends, others knew people who became critically ill and died. It was a terrifying time across the world, and workers are realizing what matters most to them. There is a serious shift in professional and personal lives, with many workers putting a high priority on their personal lives so they do not completely quit their jobs.

Working Remotely

When the pandemic hit and shut down offices, restaurants, retail stores, and others, employers were frantically trying to sort out how they could keep their businesses going without having to shut down or close their businesses completely.

A lot of employees began working remotely to reduce the possibility of workers catching covid and causing mass illness. A study was done in December 2020 which asked workers if, when the pandemic finishes, they would return back to the office, with 54% saying that they would like to continue working from home.

However, some who have worked from home have said that they have declined to take their break and worked more whilst being at home because they haven’t felt any ‘normal’ boundaries at this time due to societal changes.

laptop with a video call on

How Employers are Reacting

New and old businesses are affected by quiet quitting employees who want to just come in and do their job without pushing themselves to the limit by quitting the hustle culture and setting more boundaries with when they do work.

Whilst it is a good thing for employees to set boundaries, employers are feeling worried that employees may go from quietly quitting to outright quitting their job. An economic slowdown is always at the back of people’s minds, and if productivity drops then employers will face harsh decisions about what to do.

Employers, depending on their feelings towards employees quiet quitting their jobs, may see their employees as lazy for not putting the extra effort in and could look at potentially firing them, however, if they are doing their jobs as per their contract and doing it correctly, employers can’t fire an employee for genuinely doing their job.

What Employers Can Do

There are ways that employers can help reduce employees quiet quitting their jobs and help them maintain a good work life balance so they are not part of the burnout culture group.

employer and employee talking

Speak to Your Team

Keeping an open dialogue with your team is incredibly important to ensure that they do not constantly feel that stress that is hindering their productivity and causing them to think about getting the ball rolling on quiet quitting and looking at job openings.

If you have to raise the workload for a period of time, be honest about it and tell them when you are predicting it will go back down again. All businesses will fluctuate with their workload and sometimes overtime is needed, however, there is a difference between doing some extra work, and unloading a person’s entire workload on others.

Take a Look at Pay

If you have been giving extra work to your team which may look to be permanent or you have changed some of the worker’s positions within the company, you need to properly compensate them for this. Being a productive active worker starts with employees feeling like they matter to their managers.


Many workers may start quietly quitting their jobs because they do not feel valued by their current workplaces or their manager and are getting too much built-up stress due to heavy workloads. If you do not show them that you care about their wellbeing and what the stress of working long hours does to them, then you are not awarding them the respect they deserve.

Potential Promotions

A person’s career goals will vary as they move throughout their work life, and as an employer, you should be noting these to see if you can potentially move them up when able to. That is not saying to give them big raises just yet, but to listen to how they want to progress and what that can do for the business.

hand shake

Young professionals do put a lot of focus on pushing themselves forward as they are just starting out, however, if they are not being given those opportunities, they will look at mentally stepping back from their work and putting it towards something else that matters to them.

Listen to What Employees Want

It may be interesting to know that quiet quitting does not necessarily start out as quiet. They could be airing their issues to their manager beforehand, so if an employee has come to you with an issue and is now not doing their normal output, they could be quiet quitting, as they do not feel like you are listening to what they are saying.

Quiet quitters do not want to feel burned out anymore, so they will do what they can to save their personal life from taking a big hit due to their work. Staring at a screen for many hours in the day can be a lot for an employee to deal with, they will lose focus and become withdrawn.

Job security

Being secure in a job is important for employees, they will intend to stay longer if job security is mentioned. If they are insistent on growing in their current career, then a good work life balance and maybe even job security will keep more employees on and thinking of the long-term.

group of employees sitting around and looking at charts

How Employees are Reacting

Employees are quiet quitting their jobs because they do not feel like pushing themselves to do more is working for them anymore. They have become burned out employees that, in a sense, want to keep their jobs but do not want to do so at the expense of their personal life.

Whilst some may want to keep their jobs but don’t want to exceed their duties, others are completely burned out in their corporate job and are looking at how to quiet quit before they move on to another job that may be better for them.

What to Look Out For with Burnout

You may not think you are at burnout just yet, but if you have any of these signs, you might have already hit it.

Exhaustion on All Levels

Emotionally, mentally, and physically you are feeling so burned out that you can barely get out of bed, and just the idea of leaving the house to go to work is causing a lot of anxiety and stress.


The hustle culture is not for you anymore, you feel so detached, that when colleagues are talking about projects, you don’t feel a connection in getting them done, or necessarily feel like you want to get it started.

Isolating Yourself

If you notice that you do not want to speak to your co-workers much and you are fed up with being around people, you are facing burnout, not only with your work but with your connection to your colleagues.


Whether you are an employee or employer, hopefully, reading through this will show you what you can do to support your employees as well as what employees can do for their wellbeing so they are not feeling burned out.

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