Quiet Quitting or Setting Healthy Boundaries? Demystifying the Newest Global Trend

Quiet Quitting or Setting Healthy Boundaries? Demystifying the Newest Global Trend

A new controversial work phenomenon among employees is causing alarm among employers and hiring managers – Quiet Quitting. Have you heard about it?   

Picture this scenario: 

Ally has been working as a computer engineer in a medium-sized tech company for the last five years. In the last several years, she has tried her best to flow with her company – achieving highs and lows in the workplace like the rest of her colleagues. Yet lately, feelings of demotivation, disengagement, and even apathy have been marring her attitude towards work. She may still report to work, but her mind is already far from it.  

What is Quiet Quitting?  

Quiet quitting is a term that spreads on social media about employees not going above and beyond what is expected of them at work. Instead, these workers aim only to achieve the minimum, barely meeting their job description.  

What is highly alarming is that a recent Gallup poll revealed that at least 50 percent of employees in America are quiet quitters. That is one in two employees!  

This trend is concerning because most of the jobs available today require employees to go above the bare minimum to impact the company, effectively collaborate with their colleagues, and efficiently meet the needs of their clientele and other stakeholders.  

More data supports the idea that quiet quitting is rampant in the workplace.  

In the latest US work engagement data for the second quarter of this year, the proportion of engaged workers was 32 percent vis-a-vis the actively disengaged employees at 18 percent. It means that the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees currently stands at 1.8 to 1, the lowest it has been in a decade.  

The rise of the quiet quitters started in the second half of 2021. At about the same time, the Great Resignation started to go full swing in corporate America. Surprisingly, most of the quiet quitters were initially employees coming from the managerial level. However, as the Great Resignation spilled over to 2022, the trend of quietly quitting one’s job also became evident among young employees, specifically remote Gen Z workers and millennials.  

Why Are Workers Quietly Quitting Their Jobs?  

The bottom line behind quiet quitting is essentially employee dissatisfaction at work. We need to identify why employees are not engaged at work and are not motivated to go the extra mile or give their tasks a little bit of extra effort. Let us uncover three of the top reasons behind quiet quitting.  

Worker Expectations Are Unclear or Unrealistic 

When employers and managers put too much pressure on their employees, this can backfire in a way that is detrimental to the entire company.  

A 2021 survey by Gallup revealed that 57 percent of workers in the US are stressed out. This figure is way higher than the global percentage of 43 percent. In fact, the same report says that if you are in North America, chances are you have the highest stress level among workers anywhere in the world.  

A mammoth workload, beating various deadlines, and unrealistic targets from management all take a toll on employee morale and engagement. A chaotic organizational culture, poor leadership, and lack of communication also contribute to employees feeling overstretched with work.  

If you are an employer or a manager, do you have enough manpower for your teams to meet deadlines consistently? For supervisors, were you able to set clear instructions and expectations? Were you able to communicate these with your team before setting them out to work on a task?  

A Lack of Opportunity for Employee Advancement 

Many employees who quietly quit their jobs do so because they feel their bosses and companies are not giving them enough career growth and development opportunities. When employees felt boxed in and stuck doing what they have been doing in the last several years with little to no growth opportunities, they often ask, “What is the point of doing anything then?” 

Another factor that has caused quiet quitting to grow exponentially, especially in the tech sector, is the recent layoffs of big tech companies as well as startups. These massive layoffs have made many tech workers question the value of being loyal or going the extra mile for your company when they can replace you or lay you off at a moment’s notice.  

Employees Feel That They Are Being Exploited by The Company 

Do you ever feel that you are just being exploited by your company?  

An in-depth study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) showed that employees are more productive than ever. However, their wages in the last 40 years have mostly grown sideways compared to the salary growth of CEOs and other top management personnel. 

According to the study, from 1978 through 2000, C-suites’ salaries grew by 1,322 percent, while non-executive employees only grew their salaries by 18 percent in the last 40 years. If we factor in inflation and other economic shocks in the last four decades, it is quite safe to say that workers today are earning even less even though they are doing so much more.  


The Antidote to Quiet Quitting: Setting Boundaries in the Workplace 

First of all, managers should know that the antidote to quiet quitting is not quiet firing!  

Quiet firing is a passive-aggressive approach to performance management. Instead of firing employees, managers make the workplace as unpleasant as possible by withholding feedback or outrightly neglecting them.  

Quiet firing is as detrimental to your company and employees as quiet quitting. It is a reflection of poor management and a company that is on the brink of retrogression. It is extremely unhealthy.  

For employees, there are several ways that you can still have that proverbial work-life balance despite the challenges of work. You may want to do the following: 

Use Your Time Wisely 

As an employee, never forget that it is your responsibility to use your time well. Be organized and schedule your tasks so that you do not have to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. This practice will prevent you from spending long hours in the office and will open up more time for you to do other things.  

Ask For Help When Needed 

We all know that employees usually have so much to prove. However, being the messianic hero in your company can also multiply your stress and burnout levels. So ask for help when you need it. Get in the habit of asking questions and getting advice from your colleagues on performing your tasks.  

Avoid Conflict at Work 

Counterproductive habits like gossiping and rumor-mongering dampen employee morale. Never engage in it. As much as possible, maintain a pleasant working relationship with your colleagues and bosses. The key is to communicate with them often.  

Read more: How to Identify and Respond to Microaggressions in the Workplace

Schedule Time to Rest 

Set aside time to pursue your other passions, spend time with family and friends, and get enough sleep. It may be challenging, albeit very rewarding. Life is not a race but a marathon. So take time to pause and take a break.  

For company managers and business owners, here are some ways to prevent your employees from quitting quietly. 

Help Your Team Prioritize 

Let your workers know what tasks should be finished ahead of the others, so they don’t roam your workplace with misaligned priorities. By helping them prioritize, you can also determine what resources you need to help your employees succeed. Is it more manpower? Is it a more flexible schedule?  

Offer Programs on Mental Health and Stress Reduction 

Invest in programs that help alleviate stress and support your employees’ mental well-being. Never forget that your company’s most important resource is your human resource.  

Know When to Have Fun 

Be liberal with praise and recognition. Reward your team for a job well done. Spend time with them during company lunches or a few drinks after work on a Friday night. Needless to say, foot the bill when you take them out.  

Make Changes in Their Workplace 

Beautify your employees’ workplace and make it conducive for them to grow and thrive. You may also want to consider allowing some of them to work remotely on certain days to give them more flexibility. 



If you are looking for a company that takes good care of its employees or if you are looking for top talent who is determined to keep themselves motivated and not just do the bare minimum, consider partnering with the Fox Search Group. Fox Search Group, a staffing agency that champions diversity, is ready to work with you in your job search and talent acquisition needs. Reach out to us today

Balancing Pay Transparency, a Volatile Job Market and Workforce Management

Balancing Pay Transparency, a Volatile Job Market and Workforce Management

Is your company ready for the Pay Transparency Law?   

An increasing number of states in the U.S. have started to require employers to disclose salary ranges for job openings. The goal is to narrow disparities and push for more equality and inclusivity in the workplace.   

Just last week, the state of New York started to require all companies with a minimum of four employees to include salary ranges in all their job posts. Similar laws have also taken effect in other U.S. states, such as Colorado, California, and Washington.   

As the Pay Transparency Law takes effect in some of America’s most labor-intensive states, the hope is that significant pay disparities for women and people of color will narrow.   

A study made by the Pew Research Center just two years ago revealed that women only earn 84 percent of what men earn. The pay gap is even more massive among women of color. A related study showed that women of color make 58 percent of what non-Hispanic white men earn.    

With the Pay Transparency Law going into full effect in many states, employers can no longer keep job candidates and existing employees in the dark regarding salaries. 

What Does This Mean to You as Employers?  

The Pay Transparency Law will surely change some of the most basic methods on how you do your hiring and determine the salaries of your employees. You may face a period of restiveness in the workplace as your employees learn how much their colleagues are making and demand a raise. Know that this kind of disruption is temporary.   

Many companies that have already made their salary ranges public have been revising their corporate policies to accommodate these changes.   

However, admittedly, there are other factors to consider. Along with the push to comply with this new law, many employers and C-suite executives’ struggle; to stay afloat amid rising prices and the challenges of recruiting top talent in the era of the Great Resignation.  

As your company prepares for the temporary disruption that the Pay Transparency Law will surely bring, here are some handles that you can use to anchor your employees and your company in this rather significant transition:   

1. Make a Comprehensive Review of Your Compensation System.   

Since the Pay Transparency Law is ultimately a mandate for greater transparency and equality in the workplace, the first thing you need to do is to perform a comprehensive review of your company’s salary system. This will help you identify possible areas of inequities or potential inconsistencies.   

After this, you have to ask whether your company’s wage ranges for roles make sense based on the scope of work and the location where your employees will perform these tasks. 

The review must include analyzing your present employees’ compensation levels and how they align with their salary ranges and one another. You may then discover that you must adjust based on performance and market conditions.   

Finding out that the salary range in your new job posts is higher than their current salary may demotivate some of your employees. Some may also be disappointed that their wages are in the lower range.   

The task may be daunting but is completely necessary, especially if you want to keep your best-performing employees. Remember that your company’s most important resource is your human resources. Hence, opening the HR books and doing the dirty work is necessary.   

2. Prepare for a Dialogue with Your Employees.   

The Pay Transparency Law also requires you to be completely honest with your employees. There may be some discomfort initially, but it is not impossible to overcome.   

It would be best if you led in helping your employees understand how their salaries are determined. The goal here is to make them feel that they are adequately compensated. Enlist the help of your hiring managers as well in explaining to your employees why they were placed in a specific part of the salary range and mitigate the concerns from those claiming that they are being underpaid.   

Note that having this kind of conversation with your employees is necessary as the law wants to make it intentional for managers and employees to have productive discussions regarding compensation. Other companies are doing it because they have to. Hence, it would help if you started the ball rolling.  

3. Focus on the Intangibles.  

The truth is that many companies still need to financially prepare to offer a pay raise to address the possible ramifications of the Pay Transparency Law on their workforce. Other factors include inflation, the company’s current state of profitability, its other investments and expenses, and so much more.   

Suppose you are one of these companies that still need to be capable of increasing the salaries of your employees. In that case, the next best thing to do is focus on the intangibles your company offers or can offer to current employees and job candidates.   

Strengthen the implementation of company-wide policies that support the following; 

  • quality of life,  
  • work-life balance,  
  • flexible working arrangements,  
  • the option to migrate to remote work fully,  
  • and other benefits or perks your company can offer instead of paying your employees more.   

Remote work may be a viable option for many of your employees and could be enough to motivate them to stay in your company. A recent job study survey revealed that job candidates are searching for remote work opportunities skyrocketed by 300 percent from July 2021 to July 2022. Job candidates are looking for other things and are not just focusing on high-paying jobs.   

This may be a very good counter-offer, especially if your company is a smaller one or a startup. More and more employees and job candidates are looking at work-life balance nowadays. Hence, as an employer, there is wisdom in strategically capitalizing on this. 

4. Emphasize that Transparency Leads to Higher Learning   

Despite the many potential challenges that companies may face with the full implementation of the Pay Transparency Law, employers can view this as an opportunity to uphold transparency and lifelong learning in the workplace.   

According to the Harvard Business Review, transparency puts forth information on the surface, which in turn shines the spotlight on people’s actions. It makes them more accountable.   

You may pivot this to your employees to focus not just on accountability or compliance but, more so – learning. Make your efforts on transparency anchored on perfect intentions to promote a more salient sense of commitment among your employees.   

Provide your employees with opportunities to upskill and reskill, with the commitment of potentially more financial rewards once these upskilling and reskilling opportunities begin to translate into your employees becoming much better in performing their roles. Investing in your employees’ knowledge and skills benefits both employer and employee.   

 The Pay Transparency Law is a good thing. It opens the gates for more transparency, fairness, and inclusivity in the workplace. This can make your employees learn and can improve your organization’s performance in the long run.   

This is why your role as an employer and decision-maker is crucial. The challenge is for you to ultimately use the Pay Transparency law as a catalyst to promote a healthy work culture, improve accountability and trust within your organization, and promote fairness and true meritocracy among your employees.   

In the era of transparency, diversity, and inclusion, companies must work with staffing firms that promote the same values. Reach out to the Fox Search Group for your talent needs and collaborate with a cutting-edge staffing firm that understands how efforts on diversity and transparency can do wonders for your company. Contact us today!   

Pandemic Takeaways: What People Want Out of Work

Pandemic Takeaways: What People Want Out of Work

How did the pandemic change candidate and employee expectations for a potential employer? 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted the way employees view work and how work should address their needs, wants, and expectations. This made the hiring process all the more complex and challenging. 

As a hiring manager, if you are experiencing this in your organization, know that you are not alone. 

Candidate and Employee Expectations: How Have They Changed?  

The pandemic years have had a vital and permanent impact on the future of work. Suddenly, hiring managers found themselves scrambling over how to develop appropriate recruitment strategies to attract and retain talented employees.   

In this light, how have employee expectations changed over the pandemic? How do hiring managers retain top talent and not lose them in the era of The Great Resignation?   

Research from IT and consulting firm Gartner reveals major trends that heavily impact employee experience and how they view and respond to the company culture. These trends further emphasize the changes that companies like yours need to make to meet the changing expectations of candidates and employees. 

Flexibility in the Workplace 

In this day and age, Hybrid Work is the name of the game, and undoubtedly, it is here to stay.   

A study from Pew Research Center shows that 54 percent of Americans would like to continue working from home even when the pandemic ends. Furthermore, the study also revealed that four out 10 jobs could seamlessly transition to remote work permanently, while other jobs may also be performed remotely with the help of technology. 

The data is also supported by medical science because remote work significantly decreases the risk of coronavirus transmission vis-a-vis an office setup. In addition, with the issue of COVID transmission kept at bay, more employees find greater focus in their jobs and are therefore more productive.   

Making flexibility a cornerstone of your company’s culture and a salient feature of the organization’s employee value proposition can thus help future-proof your organization. 

Improving Employee Health and Wellbeing 

What does your company offer for your staff’s health and well-being?   

Your organization’s top employees and potential candidates expect their dream company to have employee health and well-being at the top shelf of your organization’s priorities. Yet, despite calls to embrace these times as the “new normal,” the fact remains that these days, which are still clouded by uncertainty, call for a particular emphasis on health, mental well-being, and work-life balance. 

In its 12th Annual Employer-Sponsored Health & Wellbeing Survey, Fidelity Investments revealed the importance of organizations jumpstarting programs in support of employee mental and emotional health, boosting health and wellness in the workplace, work-life balance, and even financial health. 

On top of this, companies must put deeper thought into providing additional benefits for employees such as caregiving and child care support, paid time off, and even counseling sessions. This initiative includes padding employee well-being budgets. 

The availability and accessibility of these benefits are viewed by your employees and candidates alike as a positive development emanating from an organization willing to go the extra mile to take care of its staff. In turn, this boosts employee engagement and encourages high performers in the organization. 

An Empathic Manager-Mentor 

More than ever, managers play a very crucial yet ever-changing role in the organization. With a good number of employees opting for greater flexibility in the workplace via hybrid work and varying work schedules, the role of your managers has to evolve. 

The manager is now in charge of starting, developing, and maintaining relationships with your team. With the advent of remote work, managers play a critical role in perpetuating company culture, ensuring knowledge transfer, rapport building, and shaping employee connection and engagement with your organization. These evolving roles are also critical in maintaining company branding, increasing employer retention, and decreasing employee turnover.  

Research from McKinsey reveals that 70 percent of employees connect their sense of purpose with their work. Employees who find a purpose tend to be more productive and engaged. They also stay longer. With an empathic manager who also doubles as a mentor, you have the opportunity to shape your employees and help them develop and find their purpose at work. 

Shorter Work Weeks: The Latest Employee Value Proposition (EVP) 

The unique and abrupt changes that companies need to make due to the pandemic include optimizing costs in the face of rising inflation. How do you confront this inflation vis-a-vis increasing employee wages? 

According to insights from a 2021 Gartner survey, 37 percent of the 71 companies surveyed late last year are planning to factor in inflation on their compensation budgets and decision-making to retain top talent. However, only 13 percent of the companies surveyed are willing to increase employee pay to mitigate inflation. 

This means that most companies will not be capable of attracting new talent with compensation alone. This is risky as good compensation is a basic candidate expectation. The possible solution? Reduced working hours or a shorter work week. 

Considering this new EVP approach, you can thoroughly discuss roles and streamline processes to offer shorter work hours to your employees. In turn, employees will be able to get more free time to pursue other activities in support of a healthy work-life balance or mental well-being.  

Data Collection: Hearing What Employees Have to Say 

A top candidate expectation is that communication lines between employees and management are always open, giving your employees an open door and an active role in shaping company culture and ensuring that they are thriving in their current working environment. With data collection, your employees will know that they are being consulted and that their opinions matter to the management. 

This is especially true for Gen Z employees who finished their schooling during the pandemic. Studies show that Gen Z is actively looking for personal connections and mentorship in the workplace. In fact, research has shown that 63 percent of Gen Z employees desire in-person training and are actually weary of remote work.   

Pandemic Takeaways, Expectations, and the Ideal Workplace 

Despite these pandemic headwinds, your company may still take actionable and practical steps to retain top talent and attract new ones. 

This includes allowing your employees to be themselves. Nurture their individual strengths and uniqueness, and study foregoing some minor organizational orderliness procedures. This deliberate attempt at inclusivity greatly boosts your staff’s attitude towards work and the company. 

Is it time to rethink your company’s dress code to allow employees to be more comfortable or expressive of their individuality? Should the working hours be made more flexible? Is coming back to the office daily really the best policy for your employees? 

Your organization may also want to exert extra effort to be more liberal with praise. Shower productive employees with encouraging words to increase their engagement further. More importantly, always illustrate to your employees how a job well done adds more meaning and value to the company and themselves. 


If you are a hiring manager needing more help in attracting top talent or ensuring that your organization has the right systems to weather the unique challenges of staffing during the pandemic, consider collaborating with Fox Search Group. The company’s decades of excellent staff placements and satisfied partners emanate from its outstanding team of experts who have demonstrated the ability to deliver top talent. 

Enjoy real-time visibility and data-driven insights in hiring top talent with a dedicated and committed search team. With full knowledge and understanding of some key pandemic takeaways and candidate and employee expectations, collaborating with the Fox Search Group helps ensure your company continues to thrive amid these challenging times.