Hung-over at work? Clocking less than 20 hours a week? Survey suggests quiet quitting is on the rise


Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we think about work forever? A new poll of U.S. workers suggests that the pandemic has led to a surge of quiet quitting.

What’s that? It’s when employees who are dissatisfied with their jobs do the bare minimum at work, typically just enough to not get fired.

Clever Real Estate recently polled full-time U.S. workers and found that about 33% admitted to quiet quitting at work. And Clever says that the actual number of employees who do this is probably much higher. According to the company’s poll, 78% of workers have taken actions that could be considered an example of quiet quitting.

Why are so many employees doing less at work? The pandemic and the rise of working from home might have changed many workers’ attitudes about their jobs. Then there is this result from Clever’s poll: 86% of employees polled said that they cared about the success of their companies, but 39% said that their companies don’t care about them.

A total of 56% of workers told Clever that they are underpaid while 40% say they are underappreciated at work.

Then there’s disillusionment. A total of 55% of poll respondents told Clever that they don’t believe hard work will help them get ahead in today’s workplace. It’s not surprising, then, that 57% of survey respondents said that they have not increased their efforts at work in the past year.

How do workers quiet quit? Clever listed these top examples:

  • A total of 29% of respondents said they are socializing more with co-workers during the day.
  • 19% say they distract themselves at work by staring into their phones or watching TV.
  • 18% say they are taking longer breaks.
  • 17% say they call in sick when they’re healthy.
  • And, in a surprising result, 9% of employees say that they have started the workday hungover.

Quiet quitting might be here to stay, too. That’s because workers who quiet quit often avoid consequences. Clever reported that 29% of poll respondents said that their managers don’t track the work they do. And 39% of those who have reduced their output during the last year say that their managers haven’t noticed.

And in one more surprising result from Clever’s poll? A total of 68% of respondents said that they spend less than 40 hours a week working. After breaks, socializing and distractions, the average number of hours employees surveyed actually worked dropped to 34 a week. One in eight full-time employees log 20 hours or fewer a week.