TheOver the years, the way work is viewed has changed, giving rise to phenomena such as “quiet take off”. Since it is so important to know the meaning and consequences of this concept, we spoke with Filipa Sobral, assistant professor in the School of Education and Psychology at the Catholic University of Portugal.
to me lifestyle per minuteThe professor explains that the “first wave of change” occurred when millennials began entering the job market and questioning certain ideas. For example, in general, this generation does not believe that a job is for life – even because the development of the labor market has determined it.
Thanks to these and other factors, the phenomenon of “quiet take off” has emerged which, according to Felipe Sobral, is “more than a concept”, in fact It may even be “the birth of a new attitude towards work”.
In addition, on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, the professor reflects on the importance of talking about mental health at work, stressing that “companies must effectively prevent the deterioration of the mental health of their workers”. The worker is restricted to carrying out only and only the tasks specified in his job, and not taking on responsibilities beyond his role.
How did the concept of “quiet take off” appear? And what does that mean?
The concept of “quiet take off” appears in a very special context resulting from two years of pandemic, confinement and remote work, along with the arrival of new generations to the market, for whom work is no longer, as for previous generations, the center of your life. More than just a concept, Quiet Resignation can be the birth of a new attitude toward work, as companies have to learn to deal with, adjust expectations and change themselves, and what they believe is the ideal of the working relationship they do. Accommodation with their workers.
There is not yet an academic and stable definition of “quiet take off,” but the testimonies that are shared and the analyzes and comments related to this phenomenon indicate behavior in which a worker limits themselves to the tasks set out in their role, does not take on responsibilities beyond theirs, does not work overtime and is not available to participate In initiatives/activities beyond their time or job.
Could it be harmful? Whose? For workers or for employers?
It may be too early to classify a “quiet take off” as a positive or negative thing in the relationship between companies and workers. I think it is necessary to put in place one of the metrics that so far can be considered “normal”, that is, to have an organizational culture where the last person to leave the company, who works a number of overtime hours at the same time, is evaluated. The stake is their ability to lead a balanced and healthy personal life, which continually assumes responsibilities beyond their role, even if there is no turning back; And we put on the other side a new situation, where the individual and his or her needs are increasingly recognized and respected by companies, where mental health plays a fundamental role in people management and where it is recognized that in the medium/long term, this is the path that will ensure greater performance, greater commitment and motivation On the part of the workers, even if this commitment and dedication only takes place from 9 am to 6 pm and from Monday to Friday.
It is no coincidence that this concept arises when other discussions take place, such as the adoption of new work systems such as telecommuting, hybrid or even four days a week.
What are the factors that make a worker begin to adopt a “quiet take off”? And what can be done to avoid this?
Perhaps a “quiet take off” is an extreme behaviour, a strong warning signal that indicates the need to rethink life in society, the role of work and life goals for each of us. It is no coincidence that this concept arises when other discussions take place, such as the adoption of new work systems such as telecommuting, hybrid or even four days a week. In a somewhat conscious way, states, companies and society are doing this thinking and perhaps workers, as the most vulnerable component of this equation, in this way express their desire for change.
I would say that in a work environment that is able to make the necessary change, where worker welfare is actually a priority, where no manager wants his team to work overtime or stay out of working hours, where he tries to adapt work dynamics and work systems to the needs of team members, as Bonuses (whether monetary or otherwise) are seen as fair, transparent and appropriate to what is the realities of the workforce, there is no reason for a ‘quiet take off’. Work will not take up more space in the lives of such persons than it should, and the impulse which may arise from it is likely to make, when and if necessary, the workers can cooperate more than is prescribed in their job and establish a fact and a sense of belonging.
We may see a change in the exchange relationship between workers and firms.
The relationship between the phenomenon and the younger generations is always mentioned. How is deteriorating working conditions (including low wages) related here?
As I mentioned at the beginning, these phenomena are actually related to the entry of younger generations into the market. A few years ago, even before this concept came into being, the entry of Generation Y or “Millennials” into the job market brought, I would say, the first wave of change from what was, on the one hand, the idea of working for the whole of life, and on the other hand, the idea of making a commitment Lifetime and immutable loyalty to a particular organization. It is clear that the deterioration of the labor relations and contractual terms offered has also led to the need to adapt the responses of workers to the companies, in accordance with the disinvestment in more structured and sustainable labor relations.
In other words, this generation’s desire to be more free and detached from work is not something innate, it is the result of a combination of changes in the market that have brought us to “quiet resignation”. All relationships that we establish, including business relationships, are built on the relationship of exchange. It gives each of us the limit we also expect. We may see a change in the exchange relationship between workers and firms.
On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, which is celebrated on the 10th of October, I would like to take this opportunity to ask if mental health should be a problem addressed in the workplace? as such?
More than just a topic to be addressed, mental health must be present in managing people. Companies must effectively prevent the deterioration of the mental health of their workers, and ensure that they contribute to their well-being on a daily basis. This is achieved by ensuring healthy work environments, with strong people management departments, who are true strategic partners and support internal decision making. Many companies continue to tie people management to, and only, the bureaucratic processes of contract writing, payroll processing, vacation bookings, and absences, and this, clearly, is no longer enough. In fact, it hasn’t been this way for quite some time, but it seems to be getting more and more clear.
A company that understands the centrality of the people they work for, that really invests in its development and adopts management practices and policies that show that to the worker, will certainly be able to improve the mental health of its teams. Universities, I can talk about the MA in Psychology and Human Resource Development that I coordinate, preparing qualified professionals to do this work alongside corporate management, enabling them to change the ‘mindset’ which, as I say, is inevitable.
What conditions should be created for workers to feel more comfortable and motivated?
There is no magic formula, there are basic principles like the ones I have already mentioned and from there companies have to understand what is best taking into account their sector of activity, geographical context and the special needs of their employees, taking into account the following: the special characteristics of their workforce.
Read also: Who is afraid of quiet calm?
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