New workplace trends are rapidly emerging on TikTok, reflecting the changing attitudes of Millennial and Gen-Z workers. Companies must swiftly understand how to handle these phenomena. The most significant recent trends include "quiet quitting," "rage applying," and "bare minimum Monday." These trends represent a unique approach to work problems and situations, reflecting the values and priorities of younger generations. However, what impact does this have on organisations and people management?
Quiet quitting is a trend that has gained popularity on TikTok in recent months. It involves doing the minimum required to avoid performance reviews or being fired. The drive behind this trend is to retain control of work-life balance and reject the notion that work is tied to one's identity. Concepts such as overtime, going above and beyond, and working late are rejected.
Organisations and leaders can embrace this trend to increase employee engagement and diversify workloads. They should question what aspects of the role could be switched or shared for people who are underperforming, and perhaps there is an opportunity to increase skill development and employee satisfaction simultaneously. Leaders should engage on a deeper level and understand the individual’s motivations and drivers. If it’s not centred around work, acknowledge that and help employees set boundaries, while setting the tone for work pace and delivery. Clear goals and metrics are essential.
Likewise, organisations should consider mental health and wellness programs - are there new products or services that could be beneficial to employees, over traditional benefits offered? Providing more choice can incentivise employees and their development in your organisation.
For the client-centric industries such as banking and law, quiet quitting could pose a few challenges for organisations. In a profession where success is driven by hours billed to clients, a minimum approach to delivery could impact the quality of work and the ability of partners to win future business. As legal hourly rates increase, client expectations will heighten, and hence the internal pressure to deliver and succeed.
Rage job applying is a trend that involves applying for jobs out of frustration with one's current position or situation. This trend often goes hand in hand with burnout and can lead to employees applying for jobs they are not necessarily qualified for or interested in, but simply as a means to let off steam from a frustrating situation. The feeling of being ‘wanted’ and marketable by another company, helps the employee level with their frustrations and potentially use interviews as a bargaining chip internally. The rise of remote work and social media has made job searching easier, including an easier interview process because of virtual screenings.
The solution here revolves around employee engagement and communication. Consider how communication channels between managers and their teams are constructed and how accessible they are. Are your leaders empowered to solve their team’s problems? Do they feel free to speak openly about their problems and frustrations?
Bare minimum Monday involves doing the bare minimum amount of work on Mondays to ease the "Sunday Scaries," often felt on the Sunday before the start of a new workweek. Employees can sometimes feel unmotivated or unproductive on Mondays, particularly during a daunting week ahead. An approach that eases into the workweek without the feeling of guilt can ease anxiety leading up to the intensity of the week ahead.
Organisations can embrace this trend by either encouraging a remote work day that focuses on tips for self-care, or offer an office environment that helps ease the Monday blues. A healthy breakfast, mental health workshop, or small team activity can help divert attention from the stresses of the week to something more positive and help create an ambitious mindset.
As the workplace continues to change, it is essential for employers and employees to be aware of emerging trends and their potential impact. Gen-Z, in particular, is quickly connected to new ideas and experiments in the workplace, and organisations need to keep up with the pace. While quiet quitting, rage job applying, and bare minimum Monday may seem like a fad, they could have significant consequences for the way employees engage with their work. It is up to both employers and employees to navigate these trends and find ways to balance the needs of the workplace with the priorities of the new generation of the workforce.
To effectively handle these trends, organisations must keep up with the times by embracing remote work and digital communication. They must also take the time to understand the new generation of employees and the work culture they aspire to. Leaders must foster an environment that values work-life balance and employee well-being to improve job satisfaction and engagement. Investing in training and development can also help to retain talent, while encouraging a culture of continuous learning and development.
Organisations that adapt to emerging trends can remain competitive, attract and retain top talent and keep pace with the rapidly changing work environment. While some of these trends may challenge conventional ways of working, they also offer an opportunity for employers to think creatively about how to support the needs of their workforce and create an inclusive and supportive workplace culture. By embracing change, organisations can position themselves for long-term success.