'Letting it rot' is the destructive work trend taking over 'quiet quitting'

'Letting it rot' is the destructive work trend taking over 'quiet quitting'
Quiet quitting: Employees doing just enough

“Quiet quitting” became the most talked-about work trend of the summer, but it looks like there’s another, more destructive one now taking over.

While quiet quitting and the idea of slowly winding down from overworking has generated a lot of media attention over recent months, with people leaving behind the notion of going above and beyond.

Now though, it’s ‘letting it rot’ which is emerging as a trend – and it’s altogether more damaging.

According to Insider, ‘let it rot’ is growing as an idea in China and transferring to unmotivated workers across the globe.

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Also known as bai lan (摆烂) in Mandarin, it’s described as “leaning into self-indulgence and open decay and away from life expectations that seem neither meaningful nor attainable”.

Is letting it rot the big trend of 2022?iStock/flzkes

While quiet quitting is about doing what is required and nothing more when it comes to work, letting it rot is all about giving up entirely.

Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, explained that the trend relates to social issues and the “burden of the three mountains” (education, healthcare and housing) which impact workers below the age of 40 in China.

“They are university graduates, people who have a PhD, but when they enter the job market, they need to pick up very humble jobs,” he said, [via Intellasia.Net]

It could yet prove to be the big trend of 2022, taking prominence over quiet quitting .

That phrase was first popularised on TikTok in a video made by the aptly named @zkchillin in July 2022.


On quiet quitting #workreform

The clip tells users: “You’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond.

“You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life; the reality is it’s not, and your worth as a person is not defined by your labour.”

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