Man sitting at desk

Just over one in five NZ businesses say 'quiet quitting' is taking place

Friday , 8 September 2023 by Sue Hamilton

Around 22 per cent of New Zealand businesses say they have noticed instances of “quiet quitting” within their organisations.

The finding comes from the 2023 Workplace Wellness Report, released by Southern Cross Health Society in partnership with BusinessNZ.

Undertaken every two years, the report is New Zealand’s most comprehensive study into workplace wellbeing.

Now in its sixth edition, the report asked participating businesses about the phenomenon of “quiet quitting” for the first time.

Quiet quitting is a term that was coined last year to describe employees who opt out of tasks beyond their assigned role and become generally less invested in their work.

While the majority of organisations surveyed said they hadn’t noticed it taking place, around one in five said there had been instances of it.

A similar number of businesses said they were unsure if quiet quitting was taking place.

Southern Cross Health Society CEO Nick Astwick said given this is the first time the Workplace Wellness Report has included a question about quiet quitting, it’s difficult to know how much of New Zealand’s workforce had been partaking in quiet quitting before 2022.

“The concept of quiet quitting has likely been around for some time, even if it wasn’t known by this specific term,” he said.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has seen work dynamics evolve, which may be contributing to the presence of this quiet quitting.

“The rise of working from home and remote working and an emphasis on staff wellbeing and job satisfaction could be influencing employees’ motivations when they’re at work.

“But quiet quitting can also indicate a general lack of engagement between a business and its employees, which can affect both parties.”

With 22 per cent of businesses confirming they have noticed quiet quitting taking place, Astwick said it’s important all employers aim to create a supportive workplace culture.

“Employees are an organisation’s most valuable asset, so it’s really important to foster their wellbeing, engagement and growth.”

The Southern Cross Health Insurance – BusinessNZ Workplace Wellness Survey is designed to help employers improve the health and wellbeing of their people. It benchmarks absence levels and identifies ways to increase attendance, and also provides policy makers with data on occupational health practice and workplace absence.

The full report can be found here.