A trend from the United States, quiet take-off is spreading in France. Translating to “silent resignation,” this practice consists of employees not quitting their jobs, but rather doing the bare minimum of their jobs. How does a quiet take-off manifest itself? What are its causes? Can entrepreneurship be a solution for these out-of-work employees?
What is quiet calm?
In parallel with the great resignation, a wave of resignations in the wake of the health crisis, those who choose silent resignation at work remain in their positions, but change their approach to dealing with their professional lives. Their principles: “work only for their wages” and “give priority to their personal obligations”.
Young people are the most numerous who claim this kind of professional withdrawal, they are no longer interested in dedicating their lives to work and seem not attracted to the hierarchy.
In practice, they carry out the contractually agreed tasks within the specified times.
- On the other hand, they refuse any activity that does not fall within their competence, any overtime, or any form of solicitation on evenings and weekends (emails, calls, etc.), as well as any request made by a colleague or boss.
- They do not participate in moments of cohabitation (after-work, team lunches, etc.), do not seem to have developed a sense of group and company, and do not plan for themselves in the distant future.
Legally, the employer may not punish them, as long as they comply with the provisions of the employment contract, the company’s internal regulations, or even the collective branch agreement. Moreover, their state of mind is not necessarily synonymous with a lack of performance, on the contrary. Quiet, competent quitters speak of many managers who understand quickly, conscientiously, rigorously, and inventively…
Causes and manifestations of quiet take-off
Frustrated, burnt out, and frustrated, employees of all ages choose to invest less in their jobs and their pace of work. Their motives are multiple, beyond the desire to maintain their physical and mental health.
- Difficulty finding a place and thriving in a professional environment, sometimes due to a lack of training and supervision.
- Questioning the business model.
- The agony of losing the freedom that I felt during the health crisis with remote work.
- The belief that work should not be seen as the only or primary source of self-fulfillment, but as a means of earning.
- Desire to make employers aware of the importance of considering the personal well-being of their employees and implementing the necessary changes.
- Desire to find a balance between his work and activities that align with his personal values.
- Demand greater respect and appreciation for employees and their contribution.
The Covid-19 pandemic has raised existential questions, not to mention inflation, changing work patterns and staff shortages. All of these factors caused tensions between managers and employees. Quiet outcasts feel that company practices in terms of salary or reward for hard work, training, or participation no longer meet their needs. Even if the workload is reviewed during periodic interviews, disinterest is stronger and priorities are elsewhere.
As a result, they let things go, often leaving managers confused and under the impression that they are in a vulnerable position. Many of them do not understand this lack of investment, and try to keep these good non-committal elements, to involve them in projects and in the life of the team. Experts recommend that they learn to accept difference, to encourage it to express itself. If your communication efforts are not bearing fruit, it may be wise to welcome this diversity as an enrichment to the team.
But sometimes, the demands of uninvested employees can be reached. A study by Cadrempoi and IFOP revealed that 52% of executives want more flexible working hours than telecommuting. Even 65% are in favor of implementing a four-day week at an equal salary level.
Can entrepreneurship solve the problem of soft take-off?
Failing to find anything better, the quiet leavers whose activism allows it try entrepreneurial adventure to find meaning in work and the freedom they consider essential to their development. They have a choice of laws, between sole proprietorship, Transfer pay or freelance. The choice depends on many factors:
- the need for security, particularly at the social level,
- desired social and tax regimes,
- Willingness or ability to manage administrative, legal and tax procedures,
Companies that are struggling to hire, or have a one-off need, can find the answer to their skills needs with these freelance professionals. They reduce their fixed costs and gain flexibility, without compromising on the quality of services.