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‘Quiet-Cutting’ has no place in the workplace

Yan Krukau | Pexels

Quiet-Cutting is the practice of companies reassigning employees to a role that is often associated with a lower salary and higher workload. It sounds like the employee-coined term, ‘Quiet-Quitting’, but it is a misleading reference as companies and employers who use this term assume their employees will go above and beyond their salary’s expectations. 

If companies are not paying employees enough, then employees’ work is bound to reflect the amount they are paid. 

Employers expect workers to not only do their job but also volunteer their free-time for extra assignments, which is unfair especially if there is no pay raise to compensate for the work being done. In a time when costs of living are increasing every day, this assumption that employees should take on extra work without compensation is ridiculous. 

Quiet-Cutting can also be a way for companies to avoid counting these reassignments as layoffs. The idea behind Quiet-Cutting is that it is too expensive to fire workers; instead, companies reassign workers to a lower and unfamiliar job in hopes they quit, which costs significantly less for employers who are avoiding paying severance. 

When companies reassign employees to jobs they are unaware of how it can strain workers and negatively impact their mental health. When reassigned to a role that gives these people less power and prestige, workers feel unappreciated and are left wondering why they’ve been demoted. 

Quiet-Cutting can put more pressure on other workers in the company because the reassignments lead to less employees, so it is the same workload and pay but with fewer people. 

Additionally, getting laid off would allow employees to collect severance payments, whereas if they are forced to quit due to unhappiness, they don’t receive aid, saving corporations thousands of dollars.

Through a company’s perspective, people are replaceable, especially for coveted jobs in the  technology or finance industries, where employers push workers to be productive. Quiet-Cutting in these industries is ineffective because it leads to employees getting burnout, decreasing their productivity, if not stopping it all together. 

Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, those who were working from home felt the need to work ‘off the clock.’ Blind, an anonymous app to discuss work, found that 68% of workers in the technology industry felt more burnt out working from home than from working in the office. 

Employee burnout is a serious issue and if companies do not invest proper time and money into the wellbeing of their workers, this Quiet-Quitting to Quiet-Cutting cycle will continue relentlessly. 

If companies valued their employees and demonstrated this through days off, vacation time, bonuses and overall comfort, employees would show improvements in efficiency at work.

Moreover, people would be more productive and comfortable at their jobs if companies cared about employees’ mental and physical health. Investing in wellness programs saves employers money. 

According to the Harvard Business Review. , “J&J’s leaders estimate that wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs over the past decade; from 2002 to 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent.” 

A healthy way for companies to increase their profits is by developing a fair relationship with its employees. Instead, employees are being overworked by big companies, which is why many are ‘quiet quitting’— doing what’s needed to get by at their jobs. 

Keeping this all in mind, Quiet-Cutting could become a harmful practice, especially because it isn’t tracked like layoffs and firings are. Though it may seem relatively harmless, Quiet-Cutting is on the rise and populations such as women, people of color and LGBTQ+ might be at a higher disadvantage in following years.

Investing time, money and effort into the health and overall well-being of employees would pay off for companies in the long term. Companies need to understand that every person needs support to efficiently work. Once employers start caring about their employees, progress can be made on this issue.

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