Young professionals share views on quiet quitting

Madison Donnafield
Andrea Potter

By now, most people have heard about quiet quitting. It’s defined by Dictionary.com as “an informal term for the practice of reducing the amount of effort one devotes to one’s job.” 

Zaid Kahn brought the trend to the forefront in a 17-second TikTok video in which he says he recently learned about the term quiet quitting. Kahn says, “You’re not outright quitting your job, you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond.”  Khan also mentions “hustle culture” and the idea of working day and night to achieve professional goals, sometimes at the expense of mental and physical health. 

While the term has gained notoriety, quiet quitting isn’t a new concept or practice. It’s just a new name for a behavior that’s occurred for a long time.

Opinions differ about the causes of quiet quitting. Some say it’s about a lack of passion for the job. Others view it as being lazy. And there are some who believe it’s up to managers to improve employee engagement.

We’re young professionals working in the Grand Valley, where “hustle culture” isn’t as pronounced as some other areas. Here’s our point of view about quiet quitting.

For starters, the word “quitting” doesn’t feel quite right. Really, it’s about setting boundaries in the workplace. 

The time of killing yourself for your job is over and has been for quite a while. Quiet quitting gives people permission to stop doing tasks outside their job descriptions or working more than their contracted hours. Quiet quitters aren’t sitting around twiddling their thumbs all day while they get a paycheck. Rather, they’re putting in the expected amount of work their jobs require and then calling it a day at 5 p.m.

Quiet quitters are no longer available around the clock. They don’t check their work emails off the clock or work while they’re on vacation. They’re striking a balance between work and life at a time when it’s always talked about, but rarely seen. 

In the Grand Valley and on the Western Slope, there’s no denying there’s a slower pace of work compared to large cities. There still could be quiet quitters next to you at the office or on your team calls, though.

While we don’t live in a “hustle culture,” there’s still room to set boundaries between work and life. Many companies and organizations promote work-life balance so their employees not only reconnect with family and friends, but also reset themselves after hard work weeks. 

Setting boundaries between work and life enables employees to pursue interests outside of work without constantly worrying about completing tasks past their regularly scheduled hours. In the process, employees come to work refreshed. They’re more productive and brainstorm out-of-the-box ideas. Perhaps quiet quitting can foster a culture with less burnout and lower turnover rates.

Although quiet quitting might not be right for every business or offer a permanent solution in the workplace, it provides a way for employees to set boundaries for employers and reconnect with their personal lives. 

Andrea Potter works as a recruiter for Community Hospital in Grand Junction. Madison Donnafield works as a human resource generalist with a primary focus on recruiting at Dalby, Wendland & Co., an accounting and business consulting firm based in Grand Junction. Potter serves as programs director for the Western Colorado Human Resource Association. Donnafield is the young professionals liaison for the group. For more information, visit www.wchra.org.