Virtual Vocations - Quiet Quitting Survey - 650 Workers' Opinions on Hustle Culture

Quiet Quitting Survey: 650 Workers’ Opinions on Hustle Culture

Professional burnout is real. Is quiet quitting the solution to stopping hustle culture or is quiet quitting merely a symptom of employees feeling undervalued in their jobs? During October 2022, Virtual Vocations polled 650 workers with a “Quiet Quitting Survey” on their opinions about quiet quitting, hustle culture, professional burnout, and what motivates them most at work.


October 11-13, 2022 marked Virtual Vocations’ seventh annual celebration of National Work and Family Month. In addition to furthering our mission of connecting jobseekers with flexible work options, the event sought to position remote work as a solution to the rising trend of quiet quitting. With an event theme of “Quit the Hustle, Embrace Remote Work,” the goal was to celebrate remote work and how it helps professionals quit hustle culture as well as embrace a more healthy and productive work-life balance in the U.S. and around the world. According to Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations CEO and Co-founder, it was time to call attention to the toxicity of hustle culture and how remote work is a viable solution to a more balanced life:

“The uncertainty of the last several years has led professionals across industries to shift their priorities and pursue a better balance between their work and home lives. For many, that means embracing flexibility in where and how they work, and clocking out at the end of the day without feeling guilty about being offline. It’s not quietly quitting—it’s quitting the hustle culture. Remote work can help you do that.”

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Gallup estimates 50% of U.S. workers are quiet quitters, but what does that mean for employees and employers? Quiet quitting is a new buzzword referring to a long-established idea. It is not about laziness or workers doing less, but rather employees simply performing the jobs they are paid to do without hustling to exceed expectations. Hustle culture, which inspired quiet quitting, is a lifestyle wholly about work. Living it means glorifying, and often incentivizing, overwork in a constant grind toward success. We believe workers should not feel pressure to constantly hustle and do more.

Unfortunately, quiet quitting can carry a negative connotation. We want to rebrand quiet quitting to focus on the positive elements of the movement, including worker empowerment, conversations about workplace burnout, and setting boundaries. Professionals can be passionate about their jobs, and be committed to performing at high levels, while still establishing work limits and thriving in a fulfilling personal lives. Remote work can act as the catalyst to implement these positive aspects of quiet quitting and facilitate a more productive work-life balance for employees.

Quiet quitting: slacking off or a solution to toxic hustle culture
They say that everything old is new again, and that phrase certainly applies to the new buzzwords invading corporate work culture. Phrases such as “hustle culture” and “quiet quitting” are getting a ton of media attention, however, they are not new. They are just the newest way to label commonly recurring problems experienced by working people.

6 Strategies to Avoid Hustle Culture

Voluntarily taking on a side gig or going the extra mile at work can be empowering. Hustling becomes toxic, however, when it becomes excessive or obsessive. Hustle culture is workaholism. It is burning the candle at both ends; it is a major source of professional burnout and self-destruction.

Participating in hustle culture may mean checking more tasks off your to-do list and earning more money, but at what personal cost? A worker who feels the need to hustle may hesitate to use sick days, feel obligated to agree to any work opportunity presented to them, or be pressured to answer messages, calls, and emails during non-work hours or on what should be days off from work.

Hustle culture is detrimental to workers and their ability to thrive in their careers long-term. Follow these six strategies to avoid it:

  • Hustle culture is so normalized you may not know you’re in it. Take stock of your energy levels and evaluate how you define success.
  • Learn when to say “no.” If you are overwhelmed and cannot accommodate another request, politely decline and explain why.
  • Avoid multitasking. Often, trying to tackle multiple to-dos at once means none get accomplished. Focus on one project at a time.
  • Claim time weekly to do things you love, including nurturing your personal life, passions, and hobbies.
  • Recognize that your values and goals matter, and do not minimize your individual accomplishments.
  • Ask for help. Pursue career coaching if you fear professional burnout, or talk to a therapist if you have concerns about your mental health and wellness.
In this career coaching session, Virtual Vocations’ certified career experts discuss the downsides of hustle culture as well as how remote work can eliminate the need to quiet-quit your job.

The Virtual Vocations Quiet Quitting Survey

“Quiet quitting has been a fixture of online employment chatter in 2022. During National Work and Family Month, we wanted to investigate whether quiet quitting is something workers have practically considered or if it is simply a buzzword that makes for interesting headlines.

The results of our ‘Quiet Quitting Survey’ prove employees feel overworked, so much so that the majority of workers would consider quiet quitting. But our survey also revealed the solution to professional burnout: remote work. Employees report that access to remote work options is the number one deterrent to quietly quitting. Remote work is also impactful in other ways. Job flexibility, including the option to work from home, is the greatest workplace motivator—even among employees who have felt disengaged and unmotivated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, working remotely is so desired among modern workers that most of them say they want to work from home 100% of the time.”

Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations CEO and Co-founder

Key Report Findings Among All Respondents

  • More than eight in 10 workers (82.46%) had heard of quiet quitting prior to taking the survey.
  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents (71.38%) believe their employer asks them to go above and beyond their agreed duties and responsibilities at work.
  • More than half of workers (54.92%) would consider quiet quitting.
  • 67.08% of respondents feel burned out at work or have recently experienced professional burnout.
  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, 62.61% of workers have felt less professionally motivated or engaged.
  • Workers are most motivated by flexibility, including work from home options, even above compensation, advancement opportunities, and workplace recognition.
  • 48.77% of respondents want to work from home 100% of the time; access to remote job options would make 69.38% of workers less likely to quiet-quit their jobs.

Respondent Demographics

Age

18-25 (26.15%)

26%

26-41 (45.38%)

45%

42-57 (19.85%)

20%

58-76 (8.31%)

8%

77 or above (0.31%)

0%

Gender

Female (52.92%)

53%

Male (45.23%)

45%

Nonbinary or gender non-conforming (0.62%)

1%

I prefer to not answer. (1.23%)

1%

Remote Work Status
Do respondents currently work in a job that allows them to work remotely?

Answers to our remote work status question formed the foundation of our two survey groups:

  1. Remote Workers Group: Respondents who affirmed they are currently working in a job with remote work options.
  2. Non-Remote Workers Group: Respondents who said their current job does not allow them to work remotely.

Yes (78.15% – Remote Workers Group)

78%

No (21.85% – Non-Remote Workers Group)

22%

Remote Workers Group

The Remote Workers Group from our “Quiet Quitting Survey” represents 78.15% of total respondents. Workers in this group have a job that allows them to work remotely. Most members of the Remote Workers Group identify as male (49.41%) and are 26-41 years of age (47.05%).

  • 70.08% of remote workers believe their employer asks them to go above and beyond their agreed duties and responsibilities, yet only 26.97% strongly agree employees should only do the work they are paid to do and nothing more.
  • When it comes to knowing what their employer needs from them at work, 86.42% of remote workers are at least somewhat confident they understand what is expected of them.
  • 67.13% of remote workers say more flexibility in their careers would make them less likely to consider quiet quitting.
  • Most remote workers (47.83%) say that ideally they would work from home 100% of the time.
  • More than three-quarters of remote workers (75.39%) say they already work from home as often as they would like, with another quarter of respondents still desirous of more flexibility in their careers.

Quiet quitting refers to simply doing your job without always feeling like you have to hustle to do more, especially with no additional rewards or benefits for your time and effort. Had you heard of quiet quitting before today?

Yes (86.61%)

87%

No (13.39%)

13%

“Rise and grind” and “hustle culture” are popular social media trends, but some workers are weary of these lifestyles. Do you agree that employees should only do the work they are paid to do and nothing more?

Strongly agree (26.97%)

27%

Somewhat agree (36.61%)

37%

Somewhat disagree (14.17%)

14%

Strongly disagree (18.70%)

19%

I am undecided. (3.54%)

4%

Does your current employer ask you to go above and beyond your agreed duties and responsibilities in your job? 

Yes (70.08%)

70%

No (29.92%)

30%

How confident are you that you know and understand your employer’s expectations for you at work?  

Very confident (42.72%)

43%

Somewhat confident (43.70%)

44%

Not confident at all (13.58%)

13%

Do you feel burned out at work, or have you recently experienced professional burnout?

Yes (64.76%)

65%

No (24.21%)

24%

A little, but I am not troubled by it. (11.02%)

11%

Would you ever consider quiet quitting?

Yes (53.35%)

53%

No (29.92%)

30%

I am undecided. (13.78%)

14%

I do not really understand quiet quitting. (2.95%)

3%

If you answered yes or are undecided, would more flexibility in your career, including increased remote work options, make you less likely to consider quiet quitting?

Yes (67.13%)

67%

No (25.39%)

25%

This question does not apply to me. (7.48%)

8%

What motivates you most at work?*

*We asked survey respondents to select all options that apply to them.

Good company culture (39.57%)

40%

Flexibility, including work from home options (50.00%)

50%

Compensation (50.00%)

50%

Recognition (30.91%)

31%

Meaningful and challenging work (40.55%)

41%

Growth and advancement (18.31%)

18%

Have you felt less professionally motivated or engaged since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020?

Yes (61.22%)

61%

No (32.68%)

33%

I am undecided. (6.10%)

6%

Are you able to work from home as often as you would like?

Yes (75.39%)

75%

No (24.61%)

25%

Ideally, how many days per week do you want to work from home?

5 or more; I want to work from home 100% of the time. (47.83%)

48%

3-4 days per week (43.11%)

43%

1-2 days per week 9.06%)

9%

Remote Worker Demographics

What is your age range?

18-25 (30.51%)

31%

26-41 (47.05%)

47%

42-57 (16.54%)

17%

58-76 (5.51%)

6%

77 or above (0.39%)

0%

What is your gender?

Female (48.62)

49%

Male (49.41%)

49%

Nonbinary or gender non-conforming (0.79%)

1%

I prefer to not answer. (1.18%)

1%

Non-Remote Workers Group

The Remote Workers Group from our “Quiet Quitting Survey” represents 21.85% of total respondents. Workers in this group have a job that does not allow them to work remotely. Most members of the Remote Workers Group identify as female (68.31%) and are 26-41 years of age (39.44%).

  • 76.06% of non-remote workers believe their employer (or most recent employer) asks them to go above and beyond their agreed duties and responsibilities, yet only 20.42% strongly agree employees should only do the work they are paid to do and nothing more.
  • When it comes to knowing what their employer needs from them at work, 86.62% of non-remote workers are at least somewhat confident they understand what is expected of them.
  • 77.46% of non-remote workers say more flexibility in their careers would make them less likely to consider quiet quitting.
  • Among non-remote workers, 69.01% are actively looking for a remote job, with the rest of the respondent pool either open to working remotely if the right job came along or at least interesting in learning more about telecommuting.
  • The majority of non-remote workers (52.11%) say that ideally they would work from home 100% of the time.

Quiet quitting refers to simply doing your job without always feeling like you have to hustle to do more, especially with no additional rewards or benefits for your time and effort. Had you heard of quiet quitting before today?

Yes (67.61%)

68%

No (32.39%)

32%

“Rise and grind” and “hustle culture” are popular social media trends, but some workers are weary of these lifestyles. Do you agree that employees should only do the work they are paid to do and nothing more?

Strongly agree (20.42%)

20%

Somewhat agree (47.89%)

48%

Somewhat disagree (13.38%)

13%

Strongly disagree (14.79%)

15%

I am undecided. (3.52%)

4%

Does your current employer ask you to go above and beyond your agreed duties and responsibilities in your job? If you are not currently working, please answer based on your experience with your most recent employer.

Yes (76.06%)

76%

No (23.94%)

24%

How confident are you that you know and understand your employer’s expectations for you at work?  

Very confident (41.55%)

42%

Somewhat confident (45.07%)

45%

Not confident at all (13.38%)

13%

Do you feel burned out at work, or have you recently experienced professional burnout? If you are not currently working, please answer based on your experience with your most recent employer.

Yes (75.35%)

75%

No (11.97%)

12%

A little, but I am not troubled by it. (12.68%)

13%

Would you ever consider quiet quitting?

Yes (60.56%)

61%

No (12.68%)

13%

I am undecided. (22.54%)

22%

I do not really understand quiet quitting. (4.22%)

4%

If you answered yes or are undecided, would more flexibility in your career, including increased remote work options, make you less likely to consider quiet quitting?

Yes (77.46%)

77%

No (6.34%)

6%

This question does not apply to me. (16.20%)

16%

What motivates you most at work?*

*We asked survey respondents to select all options that apply to them.

Good company culture (57.04%)

57%

Flexibility, including work from home options (75.35%)

75%

Compensation (64.79%)

65%

Recognition (47.89%)

49%

Meaningful and challenging work (65.49%)

65%

Growth and advancement (42.25%)

42%

Have you felt less professionally motivated or engaged since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020?

Yes (67.61%)

68%

No (23.94%)

24%

I am undecided. (8.45%)

8%

Are you actively looking for a remote job?

Yes, I am looking for a remote job. (69.01%)

69%

I am not actively looking, but I would pursue a remote job if I found the right one or was offered one. (27.47%)

27%

No, but I am curious about remote work and would like to learn more. (3.52%)

4%

Ideally, how many days per week do you want to work from home?

5 or more; I want to work from home 100% of the time. (52.11%)

52%

3-4 days per week (36.62%)

37%

1-2 days per week (11.27%)

11%

Non-Remote Worker Demographics

What is your age range?

18-25 (10.56%)

11%

26-41 (39.44%)

39%

42-57 (31.69%)

32%

58-76 (18.31%)

18%

77 or above (0.00%)

0%

What is your gender?

Female (68.31%)

68%

Male (30.28%)

30%

Nonbinary or gender non-conforming (0.00%)

0%

I prefer to not answer. (1.41%)

1%

About Virtual Vocations

Virtual Vocations, Inc., founded in 2007, is a private, family-owned, and 100% distributed company. Co-founded by CEO Laura Spawn and her brother, CTO Adam Stevenson, Virtual Vocations connects jobseekers with legitimate, fully remote job openings screened to ensure the highest quality standards. To date, Virtual Vocations has helped more than four million jobseekers find flexible remote work options.

In addition to managing and curating a database that, at any given time, houses more than 15,000 current, hand-screened remote job openings, Virtual Vocations offers jobseekers a number of tools to aid in their job searches, including exclusive, self-paced career courses, digital guides for popular virtual job industries, downloadable worksheets, job coaching and interview prep, LinkedIn profile enhancement, and resume and cover letter writing services. Virtual Vocations also releases multiple data-driven reports each year on current trends in remote work.

Send questions about Virtual Vocations’ “Quiet Quitting Survey” report to Kimberly Back, Senior Job Data Content Producer, at kim (at) virtualvocations (dot) com. Please visit Virtual Vocations’ social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest for more remote work content and conversations.

Additional Image credits: Canva; Virtual Vocations images prepared by Kimberly Back



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