Quiet quitting is not a thing, but employers do need to offer more fulfilling work

A drawing of a male worker looking like he is overworked and unfulfilled to illustrate the idea of quiet quittingA new survey from Ricoh Europe claims that the majority of workers seek more stimulation and creativity in their job, suggesting that employers need to do more to provide fulfilling work. The research, conducted by Opinium for Ricoh Europe, polled 6,000 workers and 1,500 decision makers across the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. It claims to contradict the idea of quiet quitting with 82 percent of workers describing themselves as ‘engaged’ at work, while 65 percent say they are enthusiastic about what they do. Yet while workers feel content to a degree, there remain frictions and roadblocks to them becoming more productive and creative.

Cost-of-living pressures combined with a lack of fulfilment at work risks pushing employees to consider pastures new, according to the poll. Almost half (44 percent) say they are ready to change jobs if the ‘right offer’ came along. Despite this, a large proportion of businesses aren’t taking wellbeing or salary concerns seriously, as 52 percent of leaders think employees should be ‘grateful’ to have a job in the first place.

Nearly two fifths (39 percent) of people’s days are occupied with administrative tasks or overcoming technology issues – meaning teams have less time to focus on projects that deliver real value to the business. Without action and a shift to more interesting types of work, organisations may stifle employees’ sense of purpose and drive. Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of workers say they would enjoy their work more if they had more time for creative tasks.

Getting the hybrid work strategy right is another important way employers can help foster a sense of purpose, fulfilment and wellbeing at work, the authors of the report claim. They must get the balance right between giving employees the freedom and trust to work remotely, while also providing opportunities for crucial face-to-face interaction with colleagues.

Almost three quarters (72 percent) of workers say they enjoy learning from others who are physically around them, while 63 percent like to combine the office with social activities such as seeing friends and going for post-work drinks. But poor technology can hinder people’s appetite to return to the office and undermine the value of the office as a collaborative, social space. Almost a third (29 percent) are put off because booking a desk is too hard.

Nicola Downing, CEO, Ricoh Europe, says: “The ‘quiet quitting’ trend has ignited debate around work-life balance and boundaries. Our research suggests that employees aren’t ‘checking out’ but want to work on projects that really add value to the enterprise. In such a challenging environment for the workforce, with shifting work patterns post-pandemic and a raging cost-of-living crisis, it’s up to enterprises to find ways to foster a culture where fulfilling types of work and careers are a priority. This means providing the tools required to do away with pointless admin, remove insufficient systems, and focus on tasks that raise the bar. Those enterprises that do nothing risk workers turning elsewhere.”