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Quiet Quitting Signs & How to Spot Them Among Remote Workers

Quiet Quitting Signs & How to Spot Them Among Remote Workers
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When an employee quits their job, it's often a noisy process. They might give their two weeks' notice and tell all of their coworkers goodbye. Or they might just up and leave one day without any warning. There are also cases of "quiet quitting" - when employees leave their jobs without making noise.

This post will discuss seven signs of quiet quitting among remote workers, how to identify them and the resolution to quiet quitting indicators.


What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting is a new name that originated from a Tiktok video of Brian Creely, where he stated that more people are "quiet quitting" instead of resigning. Quiet quitting is an employee disengagement with the concept of doing the "bare minimum" but with no intention of doing more. It is performing duties and tasks with no enthusiasm or additional effort. 

According to the Conference Board on their study on workplace engagement, it shows that companies worldwide lose $1.5 trillion annually due to quiet quitting. The effect of quiet quitting on a company's productivity is devastating as it creates uncertainty and instability in the workplace, causing disruptions to workflows and timelines. Quiet quitting leads to delays in finding a suitable replacement and additional costs associated with hiring, onboarding, and training new employees.

Quitting vs Quiet Quitting

Quitting and quiet quitting are two different approaches to leaving a job. Quitting is a direct approach that requires the quitter to clearly state their intent to leave and often involves a formal process such as submitting a letter of resignation. Quiet quitting, however, is a more subtle approach that involves gradually fading away from an activity or situation over time rather than announcing intentions publicly and abruptly leaving. 

Quitting is more appropriate in certain situations for legal reasons. Making an explicit declaration and following through with a formal process is the most effective and respectful way to resign. It can be challenging, especially if your long-term goal is to stay with an organization. It takes courage and confidence to decide that you are no longer benefiting from what the organization offers or that it is time for a change.

Quiet quitting, or staying in a job without putting forth your total effort, can have drastic implications. Not only does this type of behaviour negatively impact the overall organization, but it can also be detrimental to your career growth. The lack of effort can affect the quality of work, which could lead to a poor reputation and missed deadlines.

Resigning from a position is always better than quiet quitting if you are not happy or satisfied with your job. Taking the time to make a conscious decision and properly resign from a position shows respect for the organization, your colleagues, and yourself.

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Why is Quiet Quitting happening?

One of the critical drivers for employees to quietly quit is that they feel more empowered to make decisions about their careers. With the rise of digital tools, job seekers now have more options when finding new and better opportunities from one job to another.

In addition, modern workplaces have become much more fast-paced and stressful. Employees are to work long hours with little recognition or support from management. It can lead to feelings of anxiety and burnout, which may make quiet quitting the preferable option for some people.

Finally, employees are becoming more aware of self-care and work-life balance. They understand that to be successful, it is essential to take care of physical and mental health first. Therefore, they decide to make no more effort into their job to avoid burnout as their self-care. If you'd like more insights on why employees quiet quit, check out this Quiet Quitting in Customer Success Study (although the survey was tailored for CS specifically, the insights are relevant for all types of job roles)."

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7 Signs Your Remote Workers Quietly Quitting Work

Remote workers can be more challenging to identify when they're "quietly quitting." It can be harder to recognize the warning signs of employees on their way out.

Here are warning signs to identify quiet quitting among remote workers:

1. Lower work productivity

It's when the quality of remote workers' work begins to suffer. It includes missed deadlines or a decrease in output.

Keep a close eye on your remote employees' tasks and compare their performance to previous levels. Also, monitor the speed of their completion, as slower-than-normal times can indicate that they are not fully invested in their work.

2. Destructed and unmotivated

If you notice that your remote workers are not engaging in conversations or are always late to virtual meetings, it could be a sign that they've already checked out.

More specifically, keep an eye out for decreased motivation and enthusiasm with tasks. If the same employee used to take on challenges with confidence but now seems disinterested, that's a major red flag.

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3. Not available around the clock

It's natural for employees to have some time off during the day. But if you find remote workers are unavailable more than usual, they might be looking elsewhere for employment.

Ensure all remote team members are available and reachable when you expect an employee to work.

4. No longer listen to instructions

Another sign of an employee about to quit is if they stop following instructions and no longer take feedback. It could be for a few reasons, including not caring anymore or even not feeling valued in their current position.

Make sure to have regular conversations with your team, so you can learn how they feel about the work, their role, and any feedback or instructions.

5.  Increase in private time

An increase in private time can refer to an employee taking more breaks than usual or spending less time on work-related tasks.

To identify an employee taking more private time, review their work hours and track the amount of time they spend on tasks. It's also essential to ensure everyone follows a standard work schedule to hold employees accountable for their time management.

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6. Unusual work schedule

An unusual work schedule is when an employee deviates from the typical work hours set for their role. It could include taking extended lunch breaks, leaving early, or skipping days altogether.

Monitor their work schedules and check in with them if there are any significant changes.

7. Less involvement in team projects and meetings

Less involvement in team projects and meetings means that an employee is no longer participating in the same manner as before. A sudden decrease in engagement could indicate losing interest in their current position or researching other job opportunities.

To identify this behaviour, check in with your remote employees to see if they're still actively participating in team meetings and projects. 

Why do employers see this as a problem?

Employers may see quiet quitting as a problem because it can lead to disruption within the workplace. Without having a precise reason for why someone is leaving, employers are left in the dark and unable to address any potential issues that could have caused their employees to leave. This lack of understanding can confuse and disrupt the workflow of other employees, resulting in lower productivity and morale. 

Additionally, it can be challenging to backfill the position quickly when employees quit without warning, resulting in a backlog of work or even project delays. Finally, employers may view quiet quitting as a sign that their company culture isn't strong enough to keep employees engaged and satisfied for the long term. 

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How to resolve 'quiet quitting' indicators?

If your employees are exhibiting signs of 'quiet quitting', there are ways to create a better workplace environment and prevent great resignation

  • Identify Employee Values - identify what values the employee holds and then make efforts to meet those needs. It could include offering incentives or providing additional rewards when appropriate.

  • Provide Flexible Scheduling Options - these include offering telecommuting, job sharing, or other ways of working that allow employees to have a more balanced life.

  • Increase Employee Engagement - create a positive work environment, offering exciting projects and challenges and providing opportunities for professional growth. You can also provide perks to motivate employees.

  • Open Communication - employees should feel comfortable discussing any issues they're experiencing at work or in their personal lives. Regular feedback sessions help identify problems early on and create an environment where employees feel heard and respected.

  • Encourage Breaks - encourage employees to take regular breaks to help reduce stress and exhaustion, which could lead to better engagement and fewer quiet quitting signs. 

Final Thoughts

In summary, quiet quitting can have severe implications for the success and reputation of a company. Employers may see quiet quitting as a problem because it can lead to disruption within the workplace, difficulty backfilling positions quickly, and a negative reputation when it comes to attracting new talent. 

Keeping track of employee attrition rates provides insight into overall job satisfaction, morale, and engagement levels within the workplace. It can help employers recognize potential employee dissatisfaction and adjust as needed to retain valuable talent. 

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Author Bio:

Kevin is the CEO, Founder of Aemorph. A seasoned entrepreneur and digital marketing expert. Kevin started in digital marketing, specialising in Search Engine Optimisation since 2010 and is helping Finance, Insurance, E-commerce, Medical, B2B and SaaS companies.

Kevin is also a certified adult educator in Singapore, delivering high-quality, relevant and easy-to-implement training to ensure learners can get immediate results and build upon their knowledge. He’s currently building Mint Superteams with a a mission to train 1million people and place them into companies.

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