The trend of quiet quitting may not be consequence free as bosses grow paranoid about remote worker productivity.
- In response to employees reducing efforts at work and only meeting minimum job requirements, employers are reducing employee significance, lightening the workload, or quiet firing.
- Managers are reducing employee workload and denying employee raises, hoping to frustrate employees into leaving on their own.
- During labor shortage concerns, more employees had freedom to do the minimum workload, but now as companies look to reduce expenses, bare minimum employees could face repercussions.
Why it’s news
A Gallup survey found that 50% of the workforce is quiet quitting and the number of actively engaged workers is at some of the lowest levels in over a decade.
During the pandemic years, more companies shifted to accommodate a better work-life balance for employees, but now with recession fears looming, employers are looking to only keep the most productive employees.
But remote and hybrid work options could be affecting employers’ perception of employee productivity.
While employees feel more productive working from home, managers perceive that less work is accomplished. While almost 90% of Microsoft employees think they are more productive at home, 80% of managers feel the opposite, Callum Borchers reports in the Wall Street Journal.
This productivity paranoia from employers has led to a higher degree of employer surveillance.
Known by some as bossware, an increasing number of employers are using technology to monitor employees, going so far as to track keystrokes and mouse clicks. Managers are worried that employees aren’t meeting productivity quotas and resorting to watching workers’ every move.
The number of employers using some sort of monitoring software has nearly doubled since the pandemic.
Perhaps one of the greatest issues with increased surveillance is that there is little to no evidence showing that it increases productivity at all. Studies do show, however, that surveillance increases employee stress and increases the likelihood of them calling out of work, Christopher Mims reports in the Wall Street Journal.
Annoyed employees are also likely to find ways around the surveillance, including “mouse jigglers.” These can be computer programs or physical tools used to keep a computer screen from going into sleep mode, tricking surveillance tools into thinking the employee is still working.
Unlike office work, remote employees may not work during the typical nine-to-five, but instead make up time in the evenings or on the weekends.