Article: Quiet Thriving to Quiet Cutting: Unveiling 7 new workplace trends

Life @ Work

Quiet Thriving to Quiet Cutting: Unveiling 7 new workplace trends

These seven trends offer a glimpse into a dynamic workplace environment, emphasising that innovation and adaptability are essential for successfully navigating the continuously evolving landscape of contemporary employment.
Quiet Thriving to Quiet Cutting: Unveiling 7 new workplace trends

As workplaces continue their evolution, they frequently give rise to novel strategies and trends. Strategies aim to enrich the quality of employees' work life, while trends often stem from the implementation of these strategies or policies. They can yield positive outcomes or introduce tensions among employees and employers. In contrast to previous eras when trends emerged gradually, today's trends can spread rapidly through the influence of social media. 

Furthermore, the increased awareness among workers plays a significant role in shaping these emerging patterns. Unlike the past, employees are now more conscious of their rights and unhesitatingly voice concerns or report instances of wrongdoing and discrimination. This heightened awareness has given birth to captivating workplace trends. Let's explore some of them. 

1. Quiet thriving

Coined by Lesley Alderman, a psychotherapist and journalist, in a Washington Post article from December 2022, quiet thriving is cantered around asserting greater control over one's professional life. In 2022, many found themselves succumbing to quiet quitting, where they were exerting minimal effort in situations that they felt were no longer meeting their needs or offering due rewards. While the idea of mentally disengaging from one's job may appear appealing, it can have adverse effects on overall mood and lead to an increased sense of dissatisfaction at work. On the other hand, quiet thriving is the direct opposite of this phenomenon, providing a more positive framework for confronting challenges and rediscovering workplace contentment.

This concept advocates for individuals to proactively engage in their work environments, nurturing feelings of empowerment and self-determination. In essence, it entails taking charge of one's career path and making deliberate choices that contribute to professional growth and overall well-being. By embracing this approach, employees can discover renewed purpose and enthusiasm within their jobs, even in the midst of economic uncertainties, ultimately enriching their job satisfaction and overall quality of work life.

2. Quiet cutting

In an unusual workplace trend, some companies are adopting a strategy that's leaving their employees puzzled and worried. They're sending out emails saying that employees' current jobs are going away, but at the same time, they're assuring them they haven't been fired. This is known as quiet cutting, and it's opposite of a broader trend - quiet quitting. The idea is that companies can reduce costs and jobs without formally laying people off.

What's interesting is that this strategy is becoming more popular. Some well-known companies like Adidas, Adobe, IBM, and Salesforce have used it in the past to reorganise their workforce. The problem is that quiet cutting plays on employees' fears of losing their jobs, especially in a tough job market. Even though these employees technically keep their jobs, they often end up in roles with less prestigious titles, lower pay, and more work. 

Employees in this situation also worry that their employers are trying to make them so unhappy that they'll quit on their own. This way of managing employees is quite different from how things have been done traditionally and has sparked discussions in the world of work.

3. Loud labourers 

The term loud labourers take on a unique twist in the modern hybrid workplace. Rather than being vocal advocates for their rights and well-being, loud labourers are employees who spend more time talking about their work than actually engaging in productive activities. Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at Vistage, noted the emergence of this office stereotype. 

In Asia, particularly in India, professionals are dedicating an increasing amount of their time to performative work, where they focus on appearing busy rather than accomplishing meaningful tasks. According to a study conducted by Qualtrics in collaboration with Slack, a significant 43 per cent of Indian employees admit to spending most of their time on such activities.

Galvin pointed out that loud labourer can be detrimental to the workplace and the company as a whole. Their tendency to prioritise appearing busy over actual productivity can lead to lost work efficiency and negatively impact employee morale. This trend can further exacerbate engagement issues as underperforming or under-engaged employees often shift an unfair workload onto their colleagues, potentially leading to a cycle of burnout throughout the organisation.

4. ROWE: Results-Only Work Environment

A new management approach known as a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) is gaining traction in the business world, especially among startups. Unlike traditional workplaces that place a heavy emphasis on the number of hours worked, ROWE-based businesses prioritise the quality of output produced by their employees.

Under the ROWE framework, employees enjoy the flexibility to work at their preferred times, whether it's during the day or throughout the week, and from any location globally. The key requirement is that they consistently deliver high-quality work ahead of deadlines. This shift from being 'hour-centric' to 'results-centric' is reshaping how work is structured and assessed.

One of the standout benefits of this trend is the empowerment it grants to employees, who gain more control over their work-life balance. Studies indicate that happier employees tend to be more efficient and achieve higher levels of productivity compared to their demotivated counterparts. 

Furthermore, a results-focused approach can lead to higher job retention rates, saving companies considerable resources that would otherwise be spent on hiring and training replacements. It's a win-win scenario that promotes job satisfaction while driving better outcomes for businesses.

5. Bare minimum Mondays 

The notion of bare minimum Mondays offers a refreshing perspective on how to kickstart the workweek. The central premise is to encourage a more relaxed approach by allowing employees to work from home on Mondays and focus exclusively on the essential tasks pertaining to their roles. While the specifics of this practice may vary from one team to another, the core idea remains consistent: simplifying the Monday workload.

Traditionally, this trend was more commonly associated with rank-and-file employees, occasionally leading to challenges for managers. However, the adoption of bare minimum Mondays is expanding, and it was officially introduced in a workplace by Caitlin Winter, a marketing manager in Australia. 

Winter's motivation behind implementing this concept was to alleviate the typical Monday pressures that employees face at the start of the workweek. She believes that bare minimum Mondays empower her team to work at their own pace, tend to household chores, and engage in activities they might not have time for during a regular workday. This innovative approach seeks to strike a balance between productivity and well-being, offering employees a more flexible start to their week while maintaining their focus on crucial tasks.

6. Grumpy stayers

Grumpy stayers are employees who navigate the modern workplace amidst challenging job markets. They find themselves holding onto their current jobs, not out of enthusiasm, but due to a scarcity of favourable job opportunities. In many ways, these individuals can be seen as a contemporary iteration of the quiet quitters, who have been affected by layoffs and a limited job market. However, the dynamics have shifted. Grumpy stayers can't simply coast along in their roles nor openly express their dissatisfaction. They find themselves in a dilemma, reluctant to remain in their current positions and yet constrained by external factors.

7. Hush tripping

This workplace trend that has seen nearly one in ten workers embark on clandestine vacations, as uncovered by a survey of 1,010 full-time employees conducted by Price 4 Limo, a vehicle rental website. Among those surveyed, a significant 27% revealed that they engaged in hush tripping to avoid utilising their paid vacation days during their time off. The discreet nature of these trips is often due to employees' concerns about potential productivity issues and their desire to sidestep inquiries about potential tax implications from their employers.

The rise of hush tripping underscores the evolving dynamics of work-life balance and employee expectations. In an environment where employees are striving for greater flexibility and autonomy, some have resorted to this covert approach to enjoy much-needed breaks without formally requesting time off. This trend highlights the importance of open communication between employers and employees, encouraging transparent discussions about vacation policies and fostering an environment where employees can comfortably request and utilise their paid time off without resorting to secrecy.

Read full story

Topics: Life @ Work, Employment Landscape, #Trends, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?