‘Quiet Quitting’ is the new buzz phrase, born from lockdown where people have started to re-evaluate their priorities and work/life balance. Gathering speed on social media, it essentially means ‘just staying within the parameters of your job description’ – doing no more, and no less, than what is required by your contract. For example, no more staying late at work, checking emails outside of your contracted work hours, or volunteering to do the ‘nice to have but not really necessary’ jobs, such as organising social events outside of office hours.
There are conflicting sides of this; workers have become fatigued with putting extra effort in but not seeing the financial reward or extra recognition for it, and as a result instead focus on reducing burnout. On the other hand, many workers expect to have to put in the extra effort, in order to get ahead. Will your success be affected if you only do the bare minimum - resulting in lack of progression and salary stagnation? Is quiet quitting just a new way of saying ‘work your contracted hours and no more’?
For those in the admin profession, is ‘quiet quitting’ even possible? Many of us have roles which require out of hours attention, weekends, and late-night calls. Some of us work across multiple time zones, or travel with those we support, and must balance the requirements of a private HNWI family – this can be very hard to do in a traditional ‘9-5’ work style. If an EA/PA tried to ‘quietly quit’ then it could have serious consequences; instead, wouldn’t it be better to have an open and honest conversation with your employer and find ways to maintain healthy boundaries? If a 24/7 role isn’t for you, then it’s sensible to reconsider your options. My personal view on this is that all the factors must be right if you want to take a full 24/7 role on - the salary/package needs to acceptable, the nature of the work itself, and the people you work for need to understand and value your work. Most importantly, your own personal circumstances need to allow for such a role – do you have the freedom and capacity to work long hours, or to travel at short notice, or have a reduced social life, if necessary?
If you have ever experienced that strange ‘in-between time’ between leaving one job and working out your notice, before starting the bright shiny new job, then you might recognise the feeling of disengagement, and working the bare minimum. When an employee ‘checks out’ of the role, it can lead to feelings of boredom and frustration. On the other hand, many admin professionals have built their reputation and career on being dependable and going above and beyond, something that quiet quitting may not go hand in hand with. For many of us, ‘quiet quitting’ isn’t an option, different admin roles carry different levels of expectations and out of hours work requirements.
The Assistant Room would love to hear your thoughts on ‘quiet quitting’- is this something the admin industry can get on board with, or is it unrealistic? Have you successfully managed to ‘quietly quit’ or would you consider it damaging to your career? Get in touch with us and let us know!
Credit: Abi Jones, EA at Instagram and Assistant Room Ambassador