Employers should adjust to ‘quiet quitting’ analyst says

Jill Schlesinger, senior business analyst at CBS News, said many companies are not adapting well to current cultural and technical business trends.

In an interview on Seattle’s Morning News with hosts Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien, Schlesinger said, “There are companies that are doing a really terrible job. They are demanding that people come back to the office. They don’t care what’s going on.”

Hybrid work is a powerful model

Schlesinger told KIRO Newsradio’s Dave Ross, “The hybrid model looks like it’s here to stay. I find it so ridiculous to complain about this. Just customize and move on. The labor market is adapting. Generational trends are adapting and technology is adapting. So let’s just do better.”

She said in-person work still has an advantage that companies are trying to instill, and the hybrid work model could be the best of both worlds.

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“They want you to interact with each other. It’s good. There’s something to be said for getting personal again, isn’t there?” said Schlesinger. “You know, it’s true that it’s good to interact with your co-workers, maybe not five days a week, but you might like some of them, and you have to show up physically when your stupid boss takes care of it.

“They also want you to understand the company culture. They want more mentoring,” but she told Ross there was even a downside to that. “Some of that corporate culture sucked, especially for women and people of color.”

“Quiet quitting” is just a work-life balance

The “quiet quitting” trend is not as negative as many believe.

“Just to be clear, ‘quiet quitting’ doesn’t mean you’re quitting, it just means you’re trying to find a balance between your work life and your personal life, right?” Schlesinger said.

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“Work-life balance, that’s what we kids called it back in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s,” she continued. “Now they’re really struggling because their work and personal lives are blurring before their eyes.”

Schlesinger said many companies are concerned about employee job performance. “They say we need more productivity, but people have been very productive from home. Companies have made a lot of money during the pandemic.”

changing labor market

“The job market is changing, and in a very interesting way. So we’ve seen the pace of job creation slowing down,” Schlesinger said. “Last year we averaged 562,000 jobs each month for 2021. That’s helped us win back a whole bunch of those 22 million jobs lost to the pandemic, and this year we’re averaging 420,000 jobs a month. And now we got the September report 263k.

US job vacancies fall as economy slows

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“At the same time, employment growth is flattening out and wages are rising,” said Schlesinger. “And we have some big companies like Walmart and Amazon that are basically saying they’re going to either reduce or freeze their hiring in some areas of their business.

“So what does that tell us? It tells us that at a time when the economy is facing both inflation and higher interest rates, the hiring heads out there are saying, “Hmm, let’s rethink what we’re doing.” And that’s important information for workers . If you think a recession is coming, don’t make big demands. And I think this “silent quitting” trend could be part of that. Let’s be careful with that.”

Hear the Seattle Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5am to 9am on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.


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