Quiet-quitting. What is it and should I do it?

Quiet-quitting. What is it and should I do it?

 28 Sep 2022

There’s been a lot of talk in the press and on social media over recent months about quiet-quitting. But what is it and what are the pros and cons?

Quiet quitting doesn’t involve resigning but is the act of disengaging from the added extras that are often part and parcel of our daily working lives. The intention is that you have a less stressful working life and more time to pursue outside interests – working to live rather than living to work.

Examples might be….

  • Not checking or responding to emails and calls either before or after your designated hours, or at weekends.
  • Saying “no” to unreasonable deadlines.
  • Not volunteering for or accepting additional projects when you know you are at capacity.
  • Taking your lunch break and all of your annual leave.

The key is though that you still carry out your duties well, working hard when you’re ‘at work’, and to your normal high standard. It’s about the level of investment you are happy to give.


The pros

  • More time with the family and/or to spend on hobbies.
  • Feeling more in control.
  • More focussed and engaged when you are at work.
  • Positive effect on physical and mental well-being.
  • Increased energy levels.
  • Less likely to experience burnout
  • Happier at work – increased productivity and better work relationships.

But, it won’t work if turning off your computer leaves you feeling wracked with guilt. Learning how not to over-promise is a big part of managing quiet-quitting successfully and should be part of our everyday working lives in any event.



The cons

  • Feeling guilty  at not checking/responding to emails and work calls.
  • Increased levels of stress because you feel you should be doing more.
  • Worrying about what your boss and colleagues are thinking/saying about you.
  • Constantly thinking about the work you feel you should be doing which leaves you unable to relax and enjoy your free time.
  • If you disengage, your employer could too, which may well have a negative impact on your access to interesting projects, promotion prospects, pay rises etc.
  • Animosity among colleagues if they feel they are having to do more because you are not.


Quiet quitting comes with pitfalls. If you  decide that it is the option for you, do it quietly. Making a big stand will be counter-productive and is likely to alienate bosses and colleagues.


Are there alternatives?

There definitely is a balance to be had here. Your employer shouldn’t expect what is unreasonable and should be mindful of overloading with work and pressure. Unreasonable expectations are an easy way to burnout.

Learning to prioritise and not to over promise is a big part of having a successful, fulfilling and sustainable career. You can do this without quiet-quitting. Examples are:

  • Work out your boundaries. Are you happy to work late a couple of evenings a week if need be, but never at weekends OR do you want to finish at a reasonable time but are happy to check emails after the kids are in bed etc? Decide what is going to work best for you and stick to it.
  • Be strategic. If your boss asks you to get involved in a project, consider how important it is, whether it will enhance your skills and experience, how damaging it will be to your future career to say no, etc. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
  • Be clear about competing priorities and offer solutions e.g. suggest you’d love to be involved but are also working on x,y,z projects so could you suggest someone to work with you on it?


It is never a good idea to let work become all consuming. Hybrid working has shown us the value of having more time to do the things we enjoy, or just to give us a bit of breathing space. Maybe there are more positive ways to achieve the right balance rather than opting to disengage.


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