Quiet quitting has been in the news over the last couple of months. I wonder if it’s not to do with the fact that people have enjoyed a level of agency and autonomy, and this freedom has put into stark contrast what it’s like operating under a hierarchy that exists within most offices.
When people have been in the Special Forces, if for any reason they have to go back to a more ‘command and control’ structure that exists in their parent regiment, they often leave.
Once you’ve tasted freedom and been treated as an equal, it’s hard to give it up again.
Somebody who likes to dominate and believe that being rich gives them some sort of entitlement to demand more from others, well that’ll have a negative effect of increased stress on their ‘subordinates’.
There’s plenty of research that indicates that surviving under the influence of a hierarchy is bad for your health. Perhaps resistance to going back to the office has more to do with instinctively protecting their mental health than not wanting to work.
Anecdotally, among the businesses I’ve spoken to, it is mainly younger people who miss the social interaction of working in the office. People with families didn’t suffer from isolation so much.
Perhaps quiet quitting is really a quiet revolution that’s been triggered by feelings of returning helplessness and subordination.
Dominance hierarchy is a system in the brain which is triggered when somebody has achieved a position of status. The people who’re subjected to dominant behaviour get triggered into the opposite ‘involuntary defeat’ system. They’re both a throwback to our evolutionary primate states.
But although we’re 95.8% ape, we’re 99% hunter gatherers and they’re predominately egalitarian.
Perhaps instead of building a business, build a community of equals. People can manage themselves; they just need support from understanding leaders.