Oct 20, 2022 - Economy & Business

Overwhelming majority of workers are actually putting in the effort

Illustration of woman carrying a large heavy briefcase

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Eighty-one percent of workers say they're putting in as much effort — or more — as they were six months ago, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Conference Board.

Why it matters: With so much talk lately of "quiet quitting" — a viral term loosely defined as workers who are doing the bare minimum, or not going "above and beyond" — you might get the sense that American workers are phoning it in. That's not quite what's going on.

What's happening: Just getting your baseline level of work done — amid a labor shortage — is challenging, said Robin Erickson, vice president of human capital at the Conference Board.

  • "People are having to work harder just to get the work done," she said, noting that this is the first time the Conference Board has asked about effort specifically.
  • And maybe you don't feel appreciated, she added. Or you found out that the person sitting next to you makes more money because the company was desperate to hire. "Or you've been loyal during COVID and the organization isn't doing well."

At the same time they're working harder, workers are less "engaged" at work — less apt to go above and beyond, the Conference Board and other studies have found.

  • Thirty percent of respondents said their level of engagement at work is lower than six months ago, the Conference Board found.
  • Gallup found a similar high level of disengagement in a poll last month, Axios' Hope King reported.
  • This is the phenom folks are calling "quiet quitting," but it shouldn't be confused with not working.

Our thought bubble: People have been through a lot over the past few years. Instead of accusing them of "quitting," maybe assume positive intent. We're all doing our best.

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