Myths or Facts: Quiet Quitting

Dear HRart Worker,

2023 is the year of work reform.

If the pandemic has taught Americans anything, it’s that an efficient and effective work environment can create a stable workforce. 

Beginning in early 2022, topics around healthy work-life balance started to increase in popularity once again. The act of “taking it easy” or restoring one’s career without extending beyond what you are paid to do became desirable. 

If you have seen popular articles in late summer, this explanation sounds a lot like Quiet Quitting. 

Although this laid the foundation for the topic, “Quiet Quitting” did not rise in mainstream media until a Tiktok creator by the name of @zaidleppelin created a video speaking about the term in July. 

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet Quitting is a work-to-rule mindset. Employees do not extend the hours and tasks designed for their position. As deceiving as the name states, quiet quitting does not actually involve the act of quitting. Instead it is the act of abandoning the act and mindset of going above and beyond

With the rise of the topic, common myths started to build. We will review some of these statements whether they are myths or facts, and how we should direct our thinking around the topic. 

Quiet quitting occurs when an employee deliberately withholds their full potential in order to get back at the company.


Quiet quitting and seeking revenge on a company are two entirely different motives. As defined, quiet quitting is an employee-focused concept that encourages a healthy balance between work and personal time. It is conducted to have a better relationship with work. Revenge, on the other hand, is done for punishment to hurt someone else.

Quiet quitting occurs when an employee reduces the typical or expected levels of productivity companies expect.


This mostly depends on how much employers are expecting from employees. What are the expectations surrounding productivity? Are companies expecting employees to work after hours, on weekends, or during scheduled PTO? If companies have high expectations, there might be a whole different set of concerns that should be addressed. 

If the expectations around productivity are healthy in a company, quiet quitting only extends to the act of overworking oneself. Some desire a gray line between work and personal life and others want a distinct difference. Quiet quitting occurs when only tasks specified within the job description are completed. Nothing more, nothing less. 

If an employee is no longer meeting expectations, they might have other motives – quitting for example. 

In response to quitting, employers have started to quiet fire. 


With the rise of quiet quitting, panic started to settle into employers’ responses. The widespread misconception ended up coining the phrase quiet firing. 

Quiet firing is the passive-aggressive act of making an employee’s job unpleasant in order to have the employee leave on their own terms. Companies can decline raises, promotions, or opportunities to their employees when quiet firing. 

This act can either be a response to employees quiet quitting or lead to disengagement. 

Because an employee is quiet quitting it means that they will quit. 


As deceptive as the name is, quiet quitting does not entail quitting. 

In some scenarios, yes. Some employees who quiet quit will resign. Although, the desire to resign was already in motion before they started to quiet quit. Creating distance between their personal and professional life helps confirm that they need to resign. 

If employees do not have intentions to resign, quiet quitting will create a balanced and more engaged workforce.

While quiet quitting is a popular trend in the workforce, there is some misunderstanding surrounding the function of the practice. As time progresses, a new concept to understand work culture will rise, and quiet quitting will become outdated. 

Employee psychology is not a new phenomenon either. Dated as early as 1913, when Hugo Munsterberg started to study what motivates employees in an organizational setting. 

Even after a century of academic studies, there are still questions about behaviors in the workforce.

Instead of questioning the behaviors, we should work on preventing the need for those behaviors by focusing on the well-being of staff members. Encourage employees to establish a healthy work-life balance before matters have to be taken into their own hands. Keep a pulse on employees before they walk out the door. 

What are your thoughts about quiet quitting?

Talk to you again soon!


Grace (she/her/hers) 

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