Article: Quiet cutting to loud labourers: New workplace trends you must know about

Life @ Work

Quiet cutting to loud labourers: New workplace trends you must know about

These trends paint a picture of a workplace in flux, where innovation and adaptability are key to navigating the ever-changing terrain of modern employment.
Quiet cutting to loud labourers: New workplace trends you must know about

In the dynamic world of work, change is the only constant. As time ticks, new policies and strategies surface, some by intent and others by circumstance. While quiet quitting, great resignation, and loud quitting created a buzz in the past, now new trends have taken the stage.

Here are some of them: 

1. ROWE: Results-Only Work Environment

Several businesses, especially startups, are transitioning to a fresh management approach known as a Results-Only Work Environment, abbreviated as ROWE. In contrast to traditional workplaces that emphasise hours worked, ROWE-based businesses prioritise solely the output delivered by their employees.

Companies embracing the ROWE let their employees have the flexibility to work at their preferred times throughout the day or week, and from any location around the world, so long as they consistently deliver high-quality work ahead of deadlines. In essence, the focus has shifted from being 'hour-centric' to 'results-centric'.

While this trend raises many questions, it undoubtedly empowers employees by granting them more control. In fact, several studies say that happier employees work more efficiently and achieve higher output compared to their demotivated, low-morale counterparts. Additionally, they exhibit greater job retention rates, resulting in substantial savings by reducing the constant need for hiring and training replacements.

2. Loud labourers 

Loud labourers are employees who spend more time talking about their work than actually doing it. Similar to the quiet quitter, this is an office stereotype that is evolving in the modern hybrid workplace, as pointed out by Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at Vistage, based in Stamford, Connecticut.

In Asia, professionals are increasingly dedicating more of their time to appearing busy rather than engaging in genuinely productive activities. On the other hand, employees in India lead this trend, with 43 per cent admitting that they spend most of their time on what can be described as performative work, revealed a study conducted by Qualtrics in partnership with Slack. 

Commenting on the same, Galvin said, “Loud labourers can be detrimental to the workplace and a company as a whole in terms of lost productivity and negatively impacting employee morale. Engagement issues can spread like wildfire, as under-engaged or underperforming employees often put an unfair brunt of the workload on their colleagues, creating a continuum of burnout across the organisation.” 

3. Quiet cutting

In a puzzling trend, some companies are adopting a strategy that leaves their employees feeling bewildered. They send out emails announcing the elimination of employees' current job roles while assuring them that they have not been fired. This approach is generating emotions of confusion, fear, and anger among the affected staff members. Termed quiet cutting, this practice is an offshoot of the quiet quitting movement, allowing companies to trim costs and reduce positions without resorting to formal layoffs.

This strategy is becoming increasingly popular as a restructuring method. According to media reports, companies such as Adidas, Adobe, IBM, and Salesforce have implemented workforce restructuring using this approach in the past year. 

The problem is quiet cutting exploits employees' anxieties about potential layoffs, particularly in the face of a challenging job market. Even though reassigned workers retain their employment status, these reassignments frequently place them in positions with less prestigious titles, reduced compensation, and increased work demands.

Furthermore, employees subjected to quiet cutting also harbour concerns that their employers may be intentionally steering them towards roles designed to make them so unhappy that they eventually decide to resign.

4. Bare minimum Mondays 

The concept of bare minimum Mondays encourages a more relaxed start to the workweek. While the particulars can vary from one team to another, the fundamental idea revolves around employees working from home on Mondays and concentrating solely on the essential tasks relevant to their roles.

Until recently, it was mainly rank-and-file employees who followed the trend of bare minimum Mondays in the workplace, sometimes causing frustration for their managers. However, a marketing manager named Caitlin Winter in Australia officially introduced bare minimum Mondays in her workplace. 

Her goal was to relieve her team of the usual Monday pressures that come with the start of the workweek. Caitlin Winter, a 31-year-old marketing manager based in Adelaide, believes that bare minimum Mondays allow her employees to work at their own pace, take care of household chores, and do things they wouldn't typically have time for during a regular workday.

5. Lazy girl job

Generation Z has had enough of the hustle culture, and hence, they seem to have come with a new anti-work term - Lazy Girl Job. The concept of Lazy Girl Jobs is applicable to everyone, regardless of gender, but it has particularly struck a chord with working women. 

Essentially, it refers to doing the minimum required at work, which is also relatively simple, all within regular work hours, while earning a sufficient income to avoid the stress of living paycheck to paycheck.

6. Grumpy stayers

Grumpy stayers are employees who find themselves remaining in their current jobs during a less favourable job market, but they do so with reluctance. These individuals represent a new version of the quiet quitters, who have been affected by layoffs and a reduced number of job opportunities. Unlike before, they can't simply coast along or express their dissatisfaction openly, but at the same time, they are not eager to remain in their current positions.

7. Hush tripping

Over the past year, almost one out of every ten workers embarked on a hush trip, as revealed by a survey of 1,010 full-time employees conducted by the vehicle rental website Price 4 Limo. Among those surveyed, 27% reported that they undertook such trips to avoid having to use their paid vacation days during their absence. Many employees choose to remain silent about these trips to avoid raising productivity concerns and to sidestep inquiries about potential tax implications from their employers. 

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Topics: Life @ Work, Employment Landscape, #HRCommunity, #HRTech

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