1 in 3 workers (33%) who mostly work in the office find it easier to tell when a colleague is overworked or stressed when seeing them face to face, leaving remote workers at risk of struggling under the radar of management teams. What are actually the causes of these hidden frustrations?
- 28% point to tech overload. Excessive use of devices reduces their capacity to accomplish their work. And people have a hard time to “switch off” from their devices in their own personal time, due to work commitments.
- A further quarter (25%) of workers feel stressed out by all the meeting technology they are expected to use.
- Just under 1 in 5 (19%) state that hybrid working has had a negative influence on their collaboration with colleagues.
- Over a third (35%) of remote staff state they miss in-person interactions with co-workers.
The first signs of quiet quitting are trending in the Barco Meeting Barometer
The Barco Meeting Barometer, an annual index measuring worker’s satisfaction with their hybrid meeting environment, sees a rise of worker satisfaction from -38 to –25 in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and United States. While the number goes up with 13 since the last index of November 2021, the overall sentiment towards hybrid meeting experience would benefit from significant improvement.
Following almost 3 years of familiarity with remote and hybrid work, the survey found that 65% of workers are either back in the office full time or spend more time in the office than remote – but almost a third (31%) wish they could work from home more often. That said, quiet quitting has begun to take hold, as almost a quarter (23%) of workers explicitly reporting disengagement from work due to poor management and tech overload (14%).
“While it is clear that the hybrid model enjoys great popularity with workers due to the flexibility it offers, businesses must be careful that it does not become a double-edged sword,” said Yannic Laleeuwe, Segment Marketing Director Workplace at Barco. “Remote colleagues may feel less able to communicate the pressures they are facing, masking work-related stress that may build into a larger disengagement issue if left unaddressed.”
Dr Audrey Tang, chartered psychologist and author of The Leader’s Guide to Resilience proposes: “Work is good for mental health, providing many of us an opportunity to escape the pressures of our daily lives, and to be recognized for our skills. But even for organizations who have focused on improving wellbeing, the hybrid model can become an obstacle. Without day-to-day contact, it is difficult to notice changes in someone’s behavior if they feel muted. Starting conversations about wellbeing on online work platforms can be challenging.”
What is quiet quitting exactly?
Quiet quitting refers to an employee that is just doing the bare minimum in his job and putting in no more time, effort or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary. Quiet quitting doesn't mean an employee has left their job but avoids working longer hours and sets clear boundaries to improve work-life balance. It is a growing phenomenon in the hybrid workplace and one which employers will have to keep a firm grip on in order to manage staff wellbeing and productivity levels.
“Quiet quitters continue to fulfill their primary responsibilities, but they’re less willing to engage in activities known as citizenship behaviors: no more staying late, showing up early, or attending non-mandatory meetings,” stated by professors Anthony C. Klotz and Mark C. Bolino in the September 2022 Harvard Business Review.