For some, they are visionaries, for others, lazy individuals. Something that is widely noticeable is the new trend they introduced: quiet quitting. It involves adhering to and fulfilling the duties specified in the contract, not going beyond established tasks, and refraining from engaging in additional activities at the workplace.
Obeservations of Generation Z
Generation Z consciously developed during times of greater awareness of mental health issues, such as depression, physical health issues, such as heart diseases and cancers, recognition of the effects of absent parents at home, and various concepts of good upbringing. Current topics also included the benefits of consumerism, closely followed by the catastrophic consequences for the environment and the cultivation of ecological awareness. They observed changes in how older siblings and friends, as well as those born in a technologized world, spend their time, both within their age group and younger. Raised in better material conditions – something they heard repeatedly, they closely examined what could truly be valuable for them in the long run.
Priorities and authenticity
The philosophical stem in contrast to the “cult of overwork” is the prioritization of happiness in private life over professional success. It is not about giving up on fulfilling responsibilities or resisting employers, but about being vocal, competent in performing assigned tasks, and achieving a genuine work-life balance. Quiet quitting is not a trend for them; it is a definition of honest work. There is no need to work overtime and be perpetually exhausted to prove that one is productive.
Work as life priority
Let’s look at Japan and the phenomenon of shakaiteki hikikomori, which is the social withdrawal for over half a year, caused by dedicating several hours a day to study or work. Somewhere and sometime, deficits from other neglected areas of life will manifest in various forms, from burnout, through personal and family crises, to physical illnesses (an increasing number of studies point to cancers and heart diseases) and mental health issues
Something recommended in the case of quiet quitting is flexibility. This is, of course, understandable, but its presence in corporate jargon has long lost its original meaning. Just like motivational musings about the essence of each employee, when leaders participate in training, repeatedly learning basic principles such as the essence of feedback, direct communication with employees, awareness of diversity, and the fact that change in the company is met with resistance from the team. For Generation Z, this is not a revelation. The final blow is delivered by the narrative of millionaires declaring the necessity of working 16 hours a day, entering the market under different circumstances. Now, most of us are mothers, but in the late ’90s, most of us were not. What matters to them is here and now, not what potential work, besides lack of time for life, stress, and its consequences, may bring.
Author: Klaudia Bartoszewska, psychologist