“The Boss Starts Going On About ‘Quiet Quitting'”: Boss Is Upset That Employee Only Works 40 Hours A Week And Doesn’t Take Extra Shifts

Unfortunately, some managers think that just because someone isn’t volunteering for extra shifts, they must be quiet quitting. But instead of hiring more people to deal with a heavier workload, the top brass do something that’s called quiet hiring where they dump the extra tasks on the people already working at the company.

Redditor u/Sol-Blackguy shared how his boss pulled him aside for a chat about the hours he’s pulling. Apparently, working full-time and being a model employee wasn’t enough! Scroll down for the full story.

Bored Panda reached out to the author of the post, u/Sol-Blackguy, and we had a friendly chat about healthy boundaries at work. We also got in touch with workplace expert Lynn Taylor, the author of ‘Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant’ and the head of the fashion brand ‘Behind the Buckle.’ She shared her insights on quiet quitting and quiet hiring. You’ll find both of our interviews below.

For some employees, quiet quitting is all about setting healthy boundaries. However, some managers frown upon people who don’t work overtime

Image credits: Andrea Piacquadio (not the actual photo)

One employee, who works 40 hours per week, recently went viral after sharing how he pushed back against his boss’ accusations

Image credits: fauxels (not the actual photo)

It turns out that the boss had a very strange understanding of what quiet quitting meant

It’s not really volunteering if someone tries to pressure you into doing it

Image credits: RODNAE Productions (not the actual photo)

“Learn to say ‘no.’ Be blunt, and stick to sending the message that your employer needs you, and not the other way around”

Image credits: Sora Shimazaki (not the actual photo)

The author of the post, u/Sol-Blackguy, opened up to Bored Panda that he didn’t expect his story to be so popular on Reddit. ” I was half venting and figured it’d make a decent story to share for anyone else who might be in the same situation to identify with,” he told us.

We were interested to get the OP’s take on quiet quitting, extra work, and how establishing a healthy work-life balance. “Quiet quitting is just propaganda to pressure workers to be further exploited. I do my 40 hours every week and my manager was basically trying to tell me (without saying) that it wasn’t enough,” he said.

“Back when I used to think working harder and picking up more slack meant looking good to management, I would overextend myself regularly. Then I used to see people around me doing the bare minimum ‘failing upwards’ while my only reward was more work. Then when I stopped and focused on just doing the bare minimum, my (former) employer had the nerve to say I was unreliable,” the redditor shared what the situation was like at a former workplace. Unfortunately, additional effort isn’t always rewarded.

“It’s really easy to have a healthy work-life balance. Learn to say ‘no.’ Be blunt, and stick to sending the message that your employer needs you, and not the other way around. You don’t owe them anything except the time that you’re scheduled and the task that you’re paid to do. Just make sure that you’re reliable within the boundaries of your duties. Don’t give them a reason to find someone dumb enough to go that extra mile. Be on time, do your work, and go home,” u/Sol-Blackguy said.

“Don’t be afraid to discuss wages with your co-workers. Work together in solidarity because there’s strength in numbers. Make sure to review your previous jobs so the next person doesn’t get suckered in. Last, but not least, join your union!” the redditor shared some more advice to help workers flourish.

There have been lots of discussions about quiet quitting recently

Image credits: fauxels (not the actual photo)

Workplace expert Taylor, the author of ‘Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant,’ explained to Bored Panda why there are so many different perspectives and nuances about quiet quitting.

“Like many workplace trends, it often depends if you are the employee or employer. There will always be some level of natural conflict between management and team members. And quiet quitting is no exception,” she said.

“On the one hand, quiet quitting can be viewed as an employee setting boundaries to being overworked. From the employee’s perspective, a lot more work should mean a lot more pay. Management may see it differently. If an employee is given additional responsibilities and they push back—or they don’t volunteer when others are doing so, managers can interpret that as a lack of commitment,” she said.

“There is a lot of gray area depending on your perspective. When companies experience economic pressures, they feel they must do more with less. But in recent years, a backlash has emerged. Companies can’t manage the way they did 10 years ago, especially in a low unemployment period,” the workplace expert noted, adding that a lot comes down to supply and demand.

“When there is a talent shortage, employees have more leverage and know if they quit, there are other opportunities. In that environment, employers can’t push too hard unless they compensate the employee accordingly and there is mutual understanding. The term quiet quitting just puts a name to a dynamic that has been around for a long time, where employees hold most or more of the cards. But in a high unemployment situation, it’s unlikely that quiet quitting will exist.”

We also wanted to get the expert’s take on quiet hiring and why some managers don’t expand the workforce to deal with the massive workload. According to Taylor, the author of ‘Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant,’ quiet hiring can also be seen from different perspectives.

“The word ‘quiet,’ intimates something a bit underhanded. But much depends on exactly how management taps its resources. In the worst-case scenario, for example, quiet hiring means that employers are trying to do more with less staff; not compensating them fairly; and overworking them,” she told Bored Panda.

“It may mean having the unreasonable expectation that employees want to assume additional responsibility. The reality may be that team members are happy where they are—adeptly handling the tasks for which they were hired.”

However, the management perspective is different. “During a challenging economic environment, companies are not typically hiring more people. Employers have always tried to work with existing staff to see what can be achieved in lean times. Hiring freezes are seen as a preferred approach over the risk of potential layoffs,” Taylor explained.

“Quiet hiring can mean reshuffling your resources, offering employees the opportunity to up-skill, or incentivizing them to work harder. It may also mean rewarding those who are putting in the extra time and effort with raises and promotions. Whatever the practice, quiet hiring is a not-so-new approach to the most efficient and cost-effective way to manage a company’s resources.”

According to the workplace expert, difficulties arise when management isn’t in touch with the needs or goals of the team. “The only way ‘quiet hiring’ will ever work is if there is: a) Nothing surreptitious about it, meaning any new staffing strategies would be discussed one-on-one, and/or as a group; and b) There’s mutual understanding and respect on the challenges and opportunities for both sides.”

Everyone has to learn to prioritize what they value the most

Image credits: fauxels (not the actual photo)

The redditor’s post got a lot of attention on the r/antiwork online community. The OP shared how his boss tried to tell him to volunteer for extra work without actually saying it aloud. You see, these extra shifts were volunteer-only. They pay well, however, you couldn’t actually force someone to pick them up.

“I show up during my scheduled shift, on time and unless it’s an actual emergency or death in the family, I always show up. I’m more reliable than death and taxes. On the other side of the coin, I don’t usually take extra shifts. I do my 40 hours reliably so I don’t have to,” the redditor wrote on r/antiwork. However, his boss saw his quality work and stable performance as something that was akin to quiet quitting, a rather unfair observation.

Over the past year, many of us have heard more and more about quiet quitting (having a healthy work-life balance), quiet hiring (giving workers more things to do without hiring new employees), and even quiet firing (sidelining employees so that they quit). Though the terms are pretty new, the concepts themselves are anything but. They all explain the behaviors, processes, and trends going on at companies and the job industry at large which might not seem immediately apparent to outsiders.

Quiet quitting has been on many employees’ and employers’ minds in recent months. But there still isn’t a consensus about what it actually means. For some, it’s about doing your job well and drawing healthy work-life boundaries. For others, it might mean aggressively doing the least amount of work possible. It really depends on what each person thinks that entails. It can either be a way to step back and carve out more time for your other priorities in life, or it can be the equivalent of showing your company the middle finger.

Naturally, your boss wants you to work as efficiently and as much as possible because it’s profitable for the company. On the flip side, employees want to work for a fair wage while also having enough time and energy left in the day for all the other things that matter in life, aside from their careers: family, friends, travel, hobbies, petting cats, cooking delicious food, reading good books with a big mug of tea, and taking long walks on the beach.

What matters to us most will depend on our priorities and who we are as people. For some, their absolute priority will be their family. So they’ll spend as much time with them as they can. For others, it might be painting or writing the Next Great Novel. Or volunteering for a cause they deeply care about. These are all things that are difficult to do if you’re burning the midnight oil at the office, day in, day out, all week long.

Whatever the case might be, if you want to live a life worth living that goes beyond just your job, you have to enforce your boundaries in a diplomatic but firm way. Some employees, like redditor u/Sol-Blackguy, might decide that working 40 hours per week is enough for them and they won’t volunteer to pick up any extra shifts.

Others might clock out exactly when their jobs officially end and ignore work-related calls and emails until they clock back in the next morning. For some employees, working regular hours might be difficult due to their responsibilities, so they might talk to their boss about focusing on producing specific results instead of spending X number of mandatory hours at the office.

Your approach will vary depending on your particular situation. So long as you’re pulling your weight and doing quality work, there shouldn’t be any problems. Meanwhile, going the extra mile is a great way to be noticed by upper management, however, extra work isn’t something that’s mandatory. Trying to ‘subtly’ force someone to volunteer for extra shifts instead of hiring more workers speaks volumes about the quality of management at a company.

The employee shared some more of his thoughts in the comments

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