Anger over wages is leading a generation of younger people to ‘quiet quitting’

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Almost half of Irish workers under the age of 30 have said they only intend to do the “bare minimum” at work if their pay or progression remains unchanged, according to a new poll.

he new phenomenon, termed ‘quiet quitting’, is seeing young professionals performing just the basics of their job role, ensuring that they bring no further initiative or betterment to the position.

The survey, carried out by recruiter Robert Walters, found that the leading reason for 40pc of workers choosing to ‘quit quietly’ is pay.

Results also show that remote working favours quiet quitters as 37pc of managers state that hybrid and remote working makes it difficult to measure the output of their team.

The country manager at Robert Walters Ireland said quiet quitting is often a “subconscious act borne out of frustrations toward the workplace”.

Suzanne Feeney said: “This behaviour isn’t something entirely new – there have always been less motivated individuals in the workplace”.

“It is easy for managers to pull their employees up on lack of productivity, but unless they get to the bottom of the ‘why’ their motivation has dropped, then quiet quitting could well become a silent movement that has a damaging effect on businesses productivity and profitability.”

As of October 1, energy prices across Ireland are set to soar with some providers announcing increases of over 30pc.

Companies including Electric Ireland, Prepay Power and Community Power have warned customers of increases in gas and electricity prices.

Along with the 8.7pc rate of inflation, the incurring rises dwarf the current 5.3pc average salary increase across the country – which has increased more than 2pc since 2021.

Ms Feeney said younger workers suddenly feel heavily underpaid for their role due to rising costs and inflation and some are therefore refusing to do more outside the parameters of their job description.

“In all cases of economic hardship, it is young workers who are on lower salaries who feel the financial burden more,” she said.

“Their lack of experience – exasperated further by the pandemic – puts them in a much weaker position than their older, more experienced counterparts when trying to bargain for higher pay.

“Employers will be unable to increase pay at the same rate of inflation – that’s a fact, so this is where softer perks and benefits really do have a chance to make a difference.

“Increasingly we are seeing utility vouchers, travel cards, and streaming subscriptions all being offered to prospective employees.”

Ms Feeney said quiet quitting creates an “imbalance in the team” – where engaged workers will find that they are having to “pick up the slack or deal with the lack of output from their disengaged colleagues”.

“This in turn will either burnout or frustrate those workers who are going above and beyond to deliver a high output,” she said.

“Business leaders can’t allow ‘quiet quitting’ to become a norm – accountability is a central part of this. If ‘quiet quitters’ are benefitting from being ‘out of sight, out of mind’ then employers should not hesitate to make more office facetime mandatory.

“As much as we learnt new ways of working in the pandemic, we also had some great working habits before Covid. These more traditional structures and systems should not be overlooked.”

 

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