A recent survey conducted by instantprint, the leading UK-based online printer serving over 750,000 businesses, has shed light on a growing trend among UK office workers known as “quiet quitting.”
The study, which interviewed 1,000 employees, aimed to explore the reasons behind frequent job-hopping and the prevalence of silent exits in the workplace.
The findings unveiled a range of unconventional quitting methods employed by UK office workers, including ghosting, quitting via text, and simply walking out. Shockingly, over one-fifth of the respondents had changed jobs three times within the past three years, indicating a significant turnover rate in the workforce.
Among the reasons cited for quitting, being underpaid or dissatisfaction with salary emerged as the most prevalent, with 32.52 percent of respondents ranking it as a primary motivation.
How do most people quit their job?
The survey revealed that a staggering 46.95 percent of participants had quit a job through impersonal means such as text, email, call, or voicemail. Additionally, 14.63 percent admitted to ghosting their employers, while 27.85 percent intentionally performed poorly until the end of their notice period or were placed on gardening leave.
Furthermore, 45.33 percent of respondents disclosed that they had started their own businesses or pursued side hustles, which had subsequently become their full-time occupations within the last three years. Social media influence played a role in 13.21 percent of respondents’ decisions to quit their jobs.
What about generational job-hopping tendencies?
The data highlighted a generational difference in job-hopping tendencies, with younger employees being more prone to switching jobs frequently. Individuals under the age of 18, or part of Generation X, had changed jobs an average of four times within the past three years. Comparatively, 52 percent of 18-24-year-olds had changed jobs once, while 39 percent of those aged 45-55 had switched positions three times. Notably, all respondents aged 65 and above reported no job changes during the specified period.
Traditional methods of resigning, such as handing in a resignation letter in person, appear to be dwindling in popularity. The survey revealed alternative ways in which employees chose to quit their jobs, including via text, email, call, voicemail, or by abruptly walking out of the workplace without returning. Astonishingly, 46.95 percent of respondents admitted to quitting through impersonal means, with 64.07 percent of these individuals falling into the 25-34 age bracket. Meanwhile, 27.85 percent intentionally performed poorly until the end of their notice period, and 28.86 percent chose to leave their desks permanently.
Regarding notice periods, the survey found that 59.96 percent of respondents worked their notice period in their previous job, leaving slightly over 40 percent who did not. Of those who did not work their notice period, 21.75 percent never reported for work, 2.44 percent worked only part of their notice, and 15.45 percent were placed on gardening leave.
Social media platforms, particularly TikTok, emerged as a source of inspiration for employees seeking to quit their jobs. Approximately 13.21 percent of respondents cited social media influence as a factor in their decision, with 60 percent of these individuals falling within the 25-34 age group. The hashtag #QuitTok on TikTok has garnered millions of views and serves as a motivational resource for those contemplating a career change.
The survey also delved into the top reasons why employees quit their jobs. Aside from being underpaid or dissatisfied with their salary, other prominent factors included childcare responsibilities (25%), stress, health, and wellbeing concerns (23%), unfavorable shift patterns or working hours
Laura Mucklow, Head of instantprint, commented on the findings:
“We can see here, first hand, just how important it is to attract and retain employees. Employers need to make sure they’re doing everything they can to make sure their workplace is one that is as inviting, challenging, accommodating, and motivating as possible.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.