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The rise of 'quiet quitting'

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live and work. The effects of the pandemic are still being studied now, almost two and a half years later.

But there's another tragic trend happening around us...

Organizations, thought leaders, and researchers are focusing efforts on how to cure the newest pandemic ravaging companies far and wide—employee burnout.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of employees across the globe have reported feeling at least somewhat burned-out with 21% reporting feeling high to very-high degree of burnout, according to a study from McKinsey.

Some of the remedies to burnout proposed in the past few years have included:

  • switching to a 4-day work week

  • flexible hybrid work models

  • company sponsored wellness programs

  • disrupting the isolation by being in community with others (our personal fav!)

And while organizations continue to test these strategies to improve employee wellness, workers are taking matters into their own hands by 'quiet quitting' or rejecting the idea of going above and beyond in their careers. (Wall Street Journal).

According to the Wall Street Journal, the millennial and gen-z workforce have recently reported the lowest engagement of all. The trend could be due to workers being consistently overextended at work leading to intense stress, the perfect breeding ground for the rise of 'quiet quitting.'

Exactly what is it? Here are a few things you may notice in yourself or others:

  • setting firm boundaries regarding overtime

  • doing just enough to get by at work, or coasting

  • untethering career from identity

  • not socializing with co-workers

  • not taking work home

  • not saying 'yes' to everything at work

And while the risk could include layoffs for less engaged workers, employees don't see the pay off in prioritizing productivity over their personal life & well-being. As a physician and entrepreneur, going above and beyond is deeply ingrained in my DNA, but in this day and age of burnout, reclaiming time & personal wellness needs to be higher on everyone's to-do list. As it turns out, living life on YOUR terms will actually make you more productive (as well as happier and healthier) in the long run - it's a win-win-win for everyone involved.


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