“Quiet quitting” has quickly become a popular—and controversial—phrase in the world of work. In theory, those who embrace “quiet quitting” are just coasting in their jobs, doing the absolute minimum while preserving their work-life balance. It’s supposedly the antithesis of “hustle culture,” or the idea that you must grind long hours at work if you want to succeed.
Many workers have issues with “quiet quitting,” viewing it as a pejorative term. Their argument is a simple one: Why do more than you’re paid and contracted to do? Why is simply doing your job seen as “slacking off” or somehow failing to deliver? Nonetheless, the phrase has persisted, particularly among younger workers.
We recently asked our readers if they’re fans of “quiet quitting” or hustle culture. Here are the results, based off 816 online responses; since this poll was conducted via LinkedIn, keep in mind that not all respondents are necessarily technologists:
It seems like most respondents are fans of at least a little hustle. And that certainly makes sense, particularly among older workers who embraced “hustle culture” in order to establish their careers. Within startup culture, hustling hard and working insane hours are seen as the keys to success, enthusiastically embraced by generations of technologists.
Whatever your feelings on “quiet quitting” or hustle, overwork and burnout remain huge issues in tech. Dice’s 2021 Sentiment Report found a third of technologists saying they were burned out; in high-intensity fields such as video game development or cybersecurity, overwork is likewise a perpetual issue. Technologists have generally cited workload, hours worked, lack of recognition for work, and lack of challenges/monotony as their top reasons for burnout.
What’s the solution to burnout and overwork? For better or worse, much depends on the company; managers need to step in and help their teams regulate schedules and balance workloads. Technologists also need the ability to adjust their schedules and workloads as they see fit, which can help them achieve a “successful” work-life balance based on their own definition. With that in place, the chances of burnout and overwork will (hopefully) lessen.
And always remember: There’s absolutely no shame in telling your manager and/or team members that you need to optimize your work-life balance. Even some of the most famous and accomplished people in tech have needed to make adjustments in order to prevent burnout.