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 2023 Workplace Wellness 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 you would be hard-pressed to find any employer denying the importance of taking leave when sick or a holiday to refresh and restore, the report asked organisations if they were seeing employees who are fulfilling their job requirements, but not taking initiative, working overtime, or volunteering for extra projects or responsibilities, aka quiet quitting.
While the majority of organisations surveyed said they had not 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, the report found.
Southern Cross Health Society chief executive officer Nick Astwick says given this is the first time the Workplace Wellness Report has included a question about quiet quitting, it is 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 says.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has seen work dynamics evolve, which may be contributing to the presence of this quiet quitting."
Astwick says 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 are at work.
"But quiet quitting can also indicate a general lack of engagement between a business and its employees, which can affect both parties," he says.
With 22 per cent of businesses confirming they have noticed quiet quitting taking place, Astwick says it is important all employers aim to create a supportive workplace culture.
"Employees are an organisations most valuable asset, so its really important to foster their wellbeing, engagement and growth," he says.
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.