Quiet Cutting Is the New Workplace Trend. Here Are 3 Signs It's Happening at Your Place of Work

In recent years, many employees have taken to quiet quitting — a practice that involves refusing to go overboard on effort at work and doing the bare minimum to avoid getting fired. But employers are fighting back, in a way, via a newer practice called quiet cutting.

Quiet cutting is the practice of making workers’ jobs less financially or mentally appealing without actually letting them go. Another way to look at quiet cutting is that it’s a notch above implementing layoffs.

Only in some ways, it’s worse, because with a layoff, a company is at least cutting ties with a given employee and giving them an opportunity to collect unemployment benefits while they seek out a better job. With quiet cutting, what might instead happen is that a given employee has their pay reduced and gets a demotion, thereby forcing them to either suffer or up and quit (which negates eligibility for unemployment benefits).

A recent Monster survey found that 77% of workers have witnessed quiet cutting at their company, and 58% have been impacted by it. As such, it’s important to recognize the signs of quiet cutting. Here are some to be on the lookout for.

1. The annual bonus your company gives out has gone away

Many employers know that implementing pay cuts could result in an uproar. So what they might do instead is seek to cut bonuses, since that’s an extra perk. If you’ve been employed by your company for many years and this is the first time you’re suddenly without a bonus, it may be a sign of things to come.

2. In-office perks are slowly disappearing

Is your company suddenly no longer providing the Friday lunches it always did? Is the snack cabinet suddenly empty? If perks you’ve enjoyed for a long time are disappearing in short order, consider it a sign that your company is quiet cutting.

3. Your employer is suddenly a fan of remote work — but for the wrong reasons

If you’ve been petitioning to work from home for quite some time and your employer finally agrees, you may be inclined to celebrate. But don’t bust out the champagne just yet. It may be that your company is suddenly amenable to remote work because it doesn’t want to maintain a dedicated desk for you at the office. That’s not necessarily a good thing.

What to do if your employer is engaging in quiet cutting

With quiet cutting, your job isn’t necessarily on the line. Rather, it’s most likely just going to keep getting worse and worse until you hit rock bottom.

So don’t let things get to that point. Instead, take action. Once your employer starts slashing perks, take a look at your expenses and budget to see what your core salary needs entail. Then, work with a recruiter or engage in your own online searches to start the process of finding a new job.

At the same time, if part of quiet cutting at your workplace means taking a pay cut or losing out on an expected bonus, you may have to adjust your spending. That could run the gamut from being more careful with your grocery expenses to cutting back on takeout. It could also be wise to take on a temporary side hustle to make up for missing income.

Finally, find ways to be kind to yourself to make up for the awful stuff that’s going on in the workplace. If you’ve just been assigned a whole bunch of mind-numbing tasks that should be below your pay grade, push through them to avoid getting fired. But then make a plan to reward yourself that night with a soothing bath and your favorite comfort meal.

Also, try to fight quiet cutting with quiet quitting. Don’t not do your job, because you don’t want to get fired. But mentally, tell yourself you just don’t care. Taking the pressure off and reminding yourself that you’re just powering through until a better job comes along could make the situation a lot easier to cope with.

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