Quiet quitting: is work morale changing?

Cutting back on working hours, retiring as early as possible, not getting more involved in the job than necessary: a new work ethic under the catchword "quiet quitting" is under debate. While some commentators defend it from an individual viewpoint, others see problems from the perspective of society as a whole.

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Göteborgs-Posten (SE) /

We shouldn't slave away for the system

Having one's own interests in mind has nothing to do with laziness, Göteborgs-Posten notes:

“It's okay to work in order to live and not the other way around. ... It's wonderful that we can use economic growth and the efficiency of working life to work fewer hours. That's how things have always been: when you're healthy, you have a moral duty to feed yourself. But working for the 'system' cannot be a fixed requirement. The idea that one should be guided by the interests of capitalism and the state in one's life choices is a non-liberal, uncivilised view.”

Kurier (AT) /

Luxury demands that undermine the welfare state

Where less is earned, there is also less to share, Kurier warns:

“Employees - and no longer just the young ones - want and demande shorter working hours. ... The 'less syndrome' is hitting the economy at an inopportune time: with the key indicators pointing downwards, inflation raging and recession looming, the new social trend towards comfort is a luxury we cannot afford. The welfare state of which we are proud will be weakened if it is not fed by the high contributions of many workers and the resulting taxes. ... It must be clear: less means less for everyone.”

Slate (FR) /

Already a topic in the Roman Empire

Commenting on the recent resignation of Jacinda Ardern and of other public figures, Slate concludes that it is becoming increasingly acceptable to retire despite professional success:

“Political careers that span several decades are becoming increasingly rare. When one says of a politician that he or she is 'hanging in there', it is not (or no longer?) a compliment. A sign of the times: in 2013, Pope Benedict XVI voluntarily resigned from office - a complete break with his predecessors, who waited for heaven to take care of this. Our political imagination now favours Cincinnatus, the Roman dictator who returned to his ploughs. ... Which was to the detriment of Caesar - who, incidentally, died because he didn't resign in time.”

Le Temps (CH) /

The quest for meaning is soon frustrated

If people are so frustrated with their jobs it's in part because their expectations are too high, Le Temps comments in view of the protests against the French pension reform:

“In France, perhaps more than anywhere else, a job is supposed to be fulfilling. What's more: it determines one's place in the social hierarchy. ... That's why the French expect a lot from their jobs. ... But in a society of mistrust and conflictual labour relations, reality quickly catches up with this almost mystical desire. ... Rather than feeling like a machine, one prefers to give up and jump ship as soon as possible. Because even more crucial here than the question of the meaning of work is the question of the meaning of life.”