Younger Workers Revolt Against America’s Rise and Grind Work Culture

Here’s a twist on the post-COVID, work-from-anywhere phenomenon: There’s an increasing “get-paid-not-work” movement on social media.

  • Why it matters: As employers struggle with people working from home and a tight talent market, they are now faced with what the Wall Street Journal calls “quiet stopping.”

What is going on: This is a rebellion against the rise and grind ethos.

  • The ascending approach is to work to live, instead of live to work. Don’t leave your job – but focus on fun, fulfilling activities outside of work while staying on the payroll.

This is much easier when you’re working remotely and there’s no pressure to show your face in the office from 9 to 5 – or longer.

  • Some workers even use the extra time to get multiple jobs, realizing that remote working means they can be mediocre at two jobs rather than good at one, the reports Journal.

The big picture: This “quiet stop” trend — which is playing out among younger employees on Instagram and TikTok — is evident in Gallup’s latest employee engagement poll.

  • Only 31% of workers born after 1989 — Gen Z and younger millennials — say they are “engaged” at work.
  • And it is much less likely than their older colleagues that their work has a purpose.

Our Thought Bubble: We see the effects of long-term distributed work on the next generation of workers. Younger workers crave mentorship and companionship that they don’t get in the new world of work – so they drop out.

Reality check: Don’t glorify the grind. Encouraging younger workers’ engagement is not the same as eroding their work-life balance and demanding more hours online. That will turn the silent quitters into real quitters.

  • If CEOs and managers take away flexibility, employees will flee.
  • Instead, leaders need to better communicate why their mission matters, reach out to employees, and figure out how to export corporate culture through Zoom.

Go deeper: Your office has changed forever.”

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