At this point most people have heard of the term “quiet quitting,” where employees do the bare minimum of work at their jobs or set higher boundaries with management. To be clear, quiet quitters are not trying to lose their jobs, they want to create a healthier work-life balance and focus more of their time of non-office activities.
The phenomenon is taking over and now quiet quitters make up half of the adult workers in the U.S.
According to new research from Gallup, 50% of U.S. adult employees describe themselves as “not engaged” at work. These individuals are people who “do the minimum required and are psychologically detached from their job,” Gallup’s poll indicates.
The other half of the population is made up of two groups. One group is people who are “engaged” in their job while the other group says they are “actively disengaged” at work.
32% of workers say they are engaged at work, the lowest number since 2014, but higher overall than it was in the early 2000s when Gallup began tracking U.S. employee engagement trends. Interestingly, 18% of workers say they are actively disengaged at work, the highest number since 2013 on Gallup’s tracker.
“What we’re seeing right now is kind of a deterioration of the employee-employer relationship,” Jim Harter, chief scientist for Gallup’s workplace management practice, said about the study.
Gallup’s 2022 data are derived from a sample of 15,091 full-time and part-time workers in the U.S. over the age of 17. The poll was conducted in June 2022.
Gallup listed several things managers can do to help dissuade employees from quiet quitting including weekly chats, accountability for individual performance and showing workers how their work contributes to the company’s overall goal.
“Employees are the new customers,” Stephan Meier, a business-strategy professor at Columbia Business School who studies worker motivation, recently said to Insider. “There are huge differences in what people actually want.”
An August story from The Wall Street Journal described fallout from quiet quitting among some U.S. bosses who lamented the practice. Those bosses included including Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and co-star on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and chairman of O’Shares ETFs Kevin O’Leary.
“Quiet quitting isn’t just about quitting on a job, it’s a step toward quitting on life,” Huffington said.