It’s becoming a tradition to start our articles with sentences like “after Covid, during Covid, beginning of Covid,” so I don’t want to break the streak. With the beginning of the Covid pandemic, a lot of milestones have moved unpredictably. There is lot of research on the effects of Covid in the economic field and we will be reading the effects of Covid in different fields.
A New Trend
One of the largest changes has come to our work lives. I keep reading about the “Great Resignation” wave. During the Great Resignation, 71.6 million people left their jobs from April 2021 through April 2022. In June 2022, the number of people quitting reached 4.2 million. It seems that we are end of it and now we have a new term: Quiet Quitting. Amanda Hetler from Techtarget.com explains quiet quitting as follows: “Quiet quitting doesn’t mean an employee has left their job, but rather has limited their tasks to those strictly within their job description to avoid working longer hours. They want to do the bare minimum to get the job done and set clear boundaries to improve work-life balance. These employees are still fulfilling their job duties but not subscribing to ‘work is life’ culture to guide their career and stand out to their superiors. They stick to what is in their job description and when they go home, they leave work behind them and focus on non-work duties and activities.”
Effects on the Supply Chain
When I consider the past two years in the logistics and supply chain sector, I totally understand the rising demand for work-life balance. People had a lot of time to think about their lives and careers during lockdown. Most of us are experiencing burn out, and quiet quitting stands as a solution for our suffers.
On the other hand, this wave brings a new problem. When people are trying to balance their work-life, they don’t complete single tasks or take any responsibilities, and there is a significant decrease in contributions to the team they are working with. This tendency directly affects the problems of supply chain. Every single issue becomes a problem as no one is taking any responsibility for a solution. Customer service and customer support departments are the most prominent departments when we consider how service quality has been inside out for the last 2.5 years. When customers are unable to solve their issues with the one who is responsible for it, escalation points are getting involved and when they are really needed, but it’s getting more difficult to reach them. This is a chained effect and to me, this is one of the main reasons we are struggling with quiet quitting.
Demand for a work-life balance and trying to get rid of burnout syndrome are legitimate and should be humanitarian demands. But while trying to have a balance in your life, are we creating another struggle in our work life? This should be the question we need to ask ourselves. Team leaders and managers are the ones who need to take more responsibility to hold their colleagues together and show the way for not getting affected from the dark side of this quiet quitting wave. That’s especially true since it’s highly possible that we will have this wave in our life longer than we expected.