Number of quiet quitters soar amid rising layoffs: Study
Nearly one-fifth of employees, who left their jobs, had a feeling of unfair treatment, according to two new surveys that paint a dismal picture of the US workplace.
Both studies came amid the ongoing debate over the talk of returning to the office.
The engagement rate of U.S. employees also shows a decline for the second straight year to just 32%, with 18% actively disengaged, making for the worst ratio between the two measures since 2013. Fewer than half of workers now trust their organisation to give them a fair shake, down to 46% from 54% last year, another separate survey from the Society for Human Resource Management reveals.
The widespread discontent was most acute among younger workers, women, and those managing multiple teams across remote and on-site schedules.
“The most disturbing part to me is the growing separation between employees and employers, especially among young people,” Jim Harter, Chief Scientist for Gallup’s workplace practice, said.
The apathy has reached a level where “people might just feel like a gig worker.”
The findings come amid an unsettled environment for American workers. While the labor market remains strong overall, evidenced by Walmart’s decision to boost wages, blue-chip employers in finance, technology, and real estate have cut thousands of jobs in recent months.
There is an indication that more layoffs could come as the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes hit the economy.
There are still ample job openings, but not all of them promise the remote flexibility or cushy perks that employers enjoyed a year ago to get applicants in the door.
Gallup’s poll found the largest decline in engagement among workers in jobs that could be remote but who were currently working fully on-site.
Exclusively remote workers, though, were also less satisfied, Gallup study found.
According to Harter, it is due to a lack of clarity from the leaders of organisations about what is expected from workers, regardless of whether they’re in the office or working from home.
The SHRM study, meanwhile, found that remote workers were both happier but also more likely to be looking for another job, which illustrates the benefits and potential drawbacks of those arrangements.
The urgency behind getting workers back to the office also faded, with about 35% of human resources professionals agreeing that bringing more of the workforce back to in-person work was a priority for this year, a 13-percentage-point drop from 2022, the SHRM data showed.
Not all measures of employee sentiment are so downbeat; More than 8 in 10 people in a November poll from job site Indeed said they’re happy at work most of the time.
Gallup found project managers to be among the most discontent workers compared with before the pandemic when looking across different levels of organisations. One reason: Hybrid work, which significantly raises the degree of difficulty in managing complex work projects, according to both Gallup and a separate study from consulting firm Resources Connection.
“People are having a tough time with coordination, and deciding when to be together on site is incredibly important,” Harter said. “Which job has the most responsibility for coordination? It’s project managers.”
Another root of dissatisfaction may be coming from current employees upset that newer workers are getting higher pay, said Mark Smith, director of HR thought leadership at the Society for Human Resource Management.