Quiet quitting, or just setting boundaries? How this new term may end up hurting employees.

I was intrigued to hear the term “quiet quitting”, but when I heard it *cue slap to the forehead*, it just sounded like simply setting boundaries!

There’s nothing wrong with setting boundaries, in fact, it’s very healthy and beneficial to do so!

@jenpeters soulguide healer

Was I surprised that someone came up with this? No, I was surprised by how the term took off so quickly on social media platforms and that the news feeds have picked it up too.

What are the potential downsides to this?

I’m much more concerned that employers who currently overburden and overstress their staff, will jump on this term in order to manipulate their staff into believing that setting boundaries is tantamount to quitting and potentially that employees will have it negatively reflected in their performance reports.

We’ve all seen how fads come and go in management circles, their goal, of course, is to motivate, nudge, or even manipulate their staff into giving 200% to the company, while the returns to employees aren’t necessarily getting better!

The “Great Resignation” was a direct response to employees feeling overburdened by the expectations of their employers, as well as how poorly some staff was treated.

Have employers taken note and changed?

For a brief moment, it seemed like they were, offering remote or hybrid work to staff, but all that seemed to reverse after Elon Musk ordered his staff back to the office, and declared that staff really aren’t working at capacity at home, nor can they truly be trusted if a supervisor isn’t watching them.

The old push/pull in the workplace seems to have reverted back to its status quo.

The “quiet quit” seems to have been borne out of that as an answer to cope, yet it too really doesn’t address workers’ needs to have a balanced work/life.

We all do much better physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually when we’re operating from a sane, balanced place, instead of living continuously stressed out.

It’s not so glamorous to make these decisions for yourself, but who says we need to have glam ALL the time?

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19 thoughts on “Quiet quitting, or just setting boundaries? How this new term may end up hurting employees.

  1. It is certainly about setting boundaries – completely agree with you. We have to make sure we remain healthy – mentally and physically – and push back to unrealistic expectations at the workplace. Having said that, I am well aware that this is not easy ,and it takes courage to do it and stick with it. Not everybody likes it when an employee sets boundaries. But after all, we have a life and need to live it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! I think that’s why so many people quit their jobs, they tried to set a better work/life balance and their employer gave them pushback instead of working with them, sadly.


  2. Saw this term pop up on LinkedIn last week – saw all the whining from employers complaining because like you say employees are daring to set boundaries!

    On the other side what about quiet firing? Where an employer doesn’t want to make pay outs or face all the pay work/legal stuff and does everything in their power to make an employees work environment so miserable that they have no choice but to quit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve seen “quiet firing” happen too many times! Sadly, it’s amazing isn’t it how adversarial the workplace can get? The term “quiet-quitting is being bandied around like setting healthy work/life boundaries is something that an employee needs to “get away with” by being sneaky! I’m not loving the term, I find it to be a big misnomer!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I just saw this article pop up in my feed: “After ‘quiet quitting,’ here comes ‘quiet firing’” by Karla Miller on The Washington Post, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/after-quiet-quitting-here-comes-quiet-firing/ar-AA11lNdW?cvid=3c23ce04b88b40fa9cc1351dd27bd328, which speaks exactly to what you brought up. These things have been around for years, but now we have catchy phrasing which is definitely getting people to talk openly about these issues.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Tamara, I’ll have a look. I have to admit it’s annoying and feel the term is employers turning it to place the blame on employees, who for years have had to put up with some bad deals! Opportunities like working from home (for those who can get it), have made a huge difference to many people’s life’s (not to mentioned opened up the job market to a wider area!), and feel this is a form of gaslighting where employers are saying “What you’re not coming back to the office, you can’t really be committed working here then can you!”

        I feel a blog post about this coming on! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Right?! At the beginning of the pandemic, it seemed that employers were boasting about how great their employees were, to be able to keep their businesses operating, and many voiced how their staff seemed to be MORE productive without the stress of the commute, etc. Now the tide has turned and they’re claiming that employees really can’t be trusted to work at home. I was happy that so many people had an opportunity to work from home, and that the work model had changed. I guess we were wrong about that! Sadly!

          Now that things are returning back to normal with the pandemic, employers are reverting back to their old ways it seems.


  3. Thank you for saying this! I have been thinking the same thing. People should not have to work more than they are paid to just to impress their boss. That’s absolutely ridiculous. As long as they do the work they are expected to they should be free to do what they please with the rest of their time. It’s unfair to burden them with extra work without increasing their pay.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree! I don’t mind going above and beyond, but I think we need to be reasonable about it. I’ve seen some really good employees getting burned out, then when they need some time to recuperate, sarcasm gets employed against them. That’s not good for one’s mental health!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely, it’s okay to go above and beyond occasionally if it’s necessary but expecting that daily just leads to burnout which the employers don’t take seriously. I have seen so many of my friends quit because of really toxic work environments and being forced to overwork themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for raising this issue. I had noticed the headlines about “quiet quitting” but did not pursue the issue. Once workers continue to depend upon the long established, economic/monetary system for their livelihood, the “old push/pull in the workplace [will find a way to revert] back to its status quo.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rosaliene, I appreciate your backup! I find it concerning when a new phrase is bandied around and people just keep repeating it without really looking at it. Every generation seems to tout “grinding” as a way to get ahead, only to rediscover how harmful overworking is to employees health, physically and mentally. The concept of work/life balance has been around for a long time, but we keep needing to rediscover it!

      Liked by 1 person

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