'Quiet quitting' is nothing new

After the initial wave of pandemic layoffs in the United States, we then heard of the so-called great resignation as many workers decided to quit their jobs rather than return to the office. 

As business operations emerged from lockdowns, U.S. employers began hiring at a furious pace as they faced (and continue to face) labor shortages.

Now, we are hearing of people doing something called quiet quitting. However, it does not mean people are actually leaving their jobs.

So what is ‘quiet quitting’?

Quiet quitting is continuing to work but doing the bare minimum in order avoid burnout and keep collecting a paycheck. 

If that sounds familiar, that's because it is, said human resources specialist Greg Giangrande.

"So quiet quitting is a new name for old pastime that employees have been doing for decades," said Giangrande, the chief people and chief communications officer of Ellucian, a higher education technology company.

Trending on social media, of course

Giangrande pointed out that everyone is just talking about it now because it became a trend on TikTok: more than 4 million videos have the hashtag "quiet quitting."

"It really refers to how disengaged so many employees are in their work," Giangrande said. "So they basically just kind of cruise through the day doing the bare minimum to keep their jobs but not really going above and beyond and fully engaged." 

Simply put, quiet quitters are doing just enough to not get fired.

Giangrande said people, especially those early in their career, have a much different perspective on work-life balance these days.

What about ‘boomerang’ employees?

On top of all this, another employment phenomenon seems to be at play: so-called boomerang hiring, where businesses are rehiring workers that had left but now want to come back, Fox26Houston.com reported

Joblist reported that about one in five workers who walked away from their job during the pandemic has done a 180 and returned to that position. Why? Various reasons abound but for some it is fears of an economic recession.

Hiring consultants are advising businesses and job seekers to be flexible. Some of these workers are returning to the same old job. Others are coming back as part-timers or contractors.