For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Quiet Quitting"

by Scheyett, Anna (2022)


While definitions vary, they all agree that in quiet quitting, one does not literally quit one's job, but rather simply does the work that is expected of the position, without going above and beyond what is expected (Pearce, 2022). This phenomenon, first noted on TikTok, has become widespread. A recent Gallup poll found that quiet quitters made up over one half of US employees in the second quarter of 2022 (Harter, 2022).

Key Passage

Quiet Quitting May Violate Ethical Principles: One of the ethical principles of our profession is service, and our Code of Ethics states, “Social workers elevate service to others above self-interest”. Quiet quitting seems in conflict with this principle. Finding work–life balance requires balancing self-interest and service rather than elevating service above self-interest. Another social work principle is competence, and our code states, “Social workers continually strive to increase their professional knowledge and skills and to apply them in practice”. Doing one’s job and no more precludes continual striving for new skills and growing in competence. In addition, competent social workers are proactive critical thinkers and changemakers, something unlikely if one is simply doing the minimum expected of the job. Finally, the principle of integrity may be challenged by quiet quitting. The Code of Ethics requires that we “act honestly and responsibly” and interact with our clients in a trustworthy manner. Might a social worker who is quiet quitting and not doing all they can for a client be violating an implicit pact with that client? (p.6)


Quiet Quitting, Great Resignation, Loud Quitting, Worker Disengagement, Employment


Quiet Quitting

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