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CAHRS Academic Director Weighs in on Quiet Quitting

someone with finger to lips telling to be quiet

Insider's "Managers Freaking out Over 'Quiet Quitting' Shows Some Bosses are out of Touch and Have Always Expected Their Employees to Work Extra"

The phrase first picked up steam on TikTok, workers' new digital town square. In essence, quiet quitting is doing your job as it's written — and maintaining firm boundaries otherwise. That means no overtime and prioritizing the bare minimum requirements. For many workers, it's a way to make work more sustainable in the long term.

"Employees recognize this as maybe a moment in which they can kind of push back on some of what they might see as unfair or perhaps burdensome treatment by their employers," Bradford Bell, Cornell's ILR School William J. Conaty professor of Strategic Human Resources and Academic Director of CAHRS, told Insider. He's referring to more than a year of employers desperate to hire while workers quit their jobs in droves for a better deal.

Employees slowing down isn't necessarily a new practice, Bell said. For decades, workers have participated in everything from work slowdowns to work to rule — a labor union tactic where you adhere strictly to your job's rules and do nothing else.