Sep 21, 2022 - Economy

The staying power of quiet quitting

Illustration of a young woman looking hesitantly around a laptop with a zoom meeting on the screen

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The work philosophy of quiet quitting — a rebellion against the "rise and grind" ethos — is spreading quickly and widely among young workers. And this has the potential to change how we all work.

Driving the news: 82% of Gen Zers say the idea of doing the minimum required to keep their jobs is pretty or extremely appealing. And some 15% of that share are already doing it, per a new Axios/Generation Lab poll.

The desire to work to live, instead of living to work, is consistent across gender, race and political views.

  • 85% of young women find the idea of doing the minimum to get by appealing, and 79% of young men feel the same way.
  • 82% of white respondents, 86% of Black respondents and 79% of Asian respondents share this view of work, as do 84% of Democrats, 79% of Republicans and 83% of independents.

Respondents also ranked work lower on their list of priorities than family, friends, wellness and hobbies.

Our thought bubble: The new generation of office workers has been shaped by hybrid and remote culture, and values work-life balance far more than generations that came before it.

  • It'll be difficult for employers to change the tide.

Reality check: Despite the widespread appeal of quiet quitting, respondents say they want to work an average of 8–9 hours per day.

  • They're willing to engage with work, but they want to let go of grind culture and redefine work as an 8-hours-per-day, 40-hours-per-week part of life.

The bottom line: The numbers show that quiet quitting cuts across demographics and may be here to stay.

Methodology: This poll was conducted Sept. 12-15 from a representative sample of 828 18 to 29-year-olds nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 3.4 percentage points.

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