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New Survey – Is “Quiet Constraint” Quiet Quitting’s New Rival?

U.S. survey released by Kahoot! confirms:

– Over half (58%) of corporate workers say they are withholding knowledge that could benefit their co-workers

– Gen Z is the top generation for untapped knowledge sharing; 77% of Gen Z’ers say they have more knowledge they could share at work

Austin, TX – October 26, 2022Kahoot!, the global learning and engagement platform company, today announced a new third-party survey of U.S. enterprise workers revealing that “Quiet Constraint” is Corporate America’s current hidden threat at work. According to the data, over half (58%) employees say that they hold in valuable knowledge they could share with their colleagues. The Gen Z generation exhibited this behavior more than any other generation, with 77% of Gen Zers reporting that they silently sit on beneficial information in the workplace.

“This data is a big wake-up call for employers, particularly those with hybrid or fully distributed work models,” said James Micklethwait, VP, Kahoot! at Work. “For the first time, we have an insight into what people are really doing when they switch their video off and ‘zone out’ of those virtual meetings which they don’t feel are worth their attention. But what really surprised us from this research was just how much valuable knowledge workers believe sits with them but is not currently being shared. It’s clear that employers need to step up and both create a culture which encourages knowledge sharing and provides engaging ways to do so.”

Additional insights from the survey revealed the following:

Forget Quiet Quitting; The New Workplace Villain Is “Quiet Constraint” 

Despite the buzz on quiet quitting—the practice of reducing one’s effort and engagement at work to a bare minimum—the survey revealed that 76% of workers want to go the extra mile for their employer at work. However, the survey identified there may be a new phenomenon called ‘Quiet Constraint’ emerging in workplaces.  According to the survey, more than half (58%) of workers hold valuable knowledge that could benefit/help their co-workers that they haven’t yet shared.  

  • More men (63%) say that they hold in information at work vs women (57%) and are more likely to do it often (27% vs. 16%).
  • When asked why workers were holding in information, 26% said they were never asked and 23% said their employer doesn’t provide them a channel or means to do so. In addition, 26% said they feel like their talent and self-expression is stifled at work. 
  • More than three-quarters of employees said they would value an engaging way to share knowledge.

While some employers may see quiet constraint as cause for concern, the data shows that many companies’ teams are in fact richer in knowledge than they realized, and that most employees are eager to share this knowledge if given the opportunity and resources.

Many Companies Still Not Optimizing Meetings and Employee Training for Virtual and Hybrid Experiences 

According to the data, 87% of workers feel bored at work, primarily due to online employee training and virtual team meetings. The survey revealed that 35% of workers said they mentally check out of online employee training, while 32% check out of virtual presentations and 31% check out of virtual team meetings.

Boredom led workers to engage in other work tasks during online meetings. In addition to reading and responding to email (45%), 18% worked on their side hustle businesses, and 11% of younger workers (Millennials and Gen Z) even double-dipped and attended two meetings simultaneously. Furthermore, some workers skipped work altogether. Twenty-three percent of women doodled while 21% of men exercised. Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) played with their pets, while 20% napped. This shows that despite most companies now having years of experience hosting virtual meetings, training sessions and events, many have not yet optimized their team collaboration, communication and training for a virtual context. 

Employees Are Willing to Pay out of Pocket for More Engagement

While 71% of employees are extremely or very interested in their work, 47% would give up some of their wages to be more engaged. In fact, 35% of hybrid workers would give up more than 10% of their pay for a little more excitement and interaction in their day.

Gen Z  (68%) was the most willing to forgo a percentage of their salary vs Boomer (32%), Gen X (41%), Millennial (56%). Clearly, this is a signal for employers and HR teams to examine critical stimulus factors and strategies to increase participation and connection with Gen Zs. Calibrating boredom was the most prominent form of boredom among Gen Z. 

Friendly Competition Is the Answer to Re-Engagement: Generation Z Says, “Yes Please!” 

Among all generations, Gen Z is the most disengaged.  In fact, 29% of Gen Z’ers said they mentally check out of virtual meetings because they feel completely disconnected from their co-workers. Additionally:

  • 31% of Gen Z workers tune out because they are spoken to vs actively participating
  • 51% said the meeting time is too long 
  • 33% said that it depends on the time of day
  • When asked what would help them get engaged, the top 3 responses were:
    • 59% said a little dose of friendly competition could be an effective remedy  
    • 51% said brainstorming with co-workers would help them become more present and engaged. 
    • 38% said more rich and interactive media would help

About the Kahoot! 2022 Workplace Culture Report 

This survey was conducted online within the United States by market-research consultancy Researchscape on behalf of Kahoot! from August 18 to September 12, 2022. The results in this report are from an online survey of U.S. workers employed in firms with 250+ employees; 1,635 responses were collected. Click here to download the full Kahoot! 2022 Workplace Culture report.

About Kahoot!

Kahoot! is on a mission to make learning awesome! We want to empower everyone, including children, students, and employees to unlock their full learning potential. Our learning platform makes it easy for any individual or corporation to create, share, and host learning sessions that drive compelling engagement. Launched in 2013, Kahoot!’s vision is to build the leading learning platform in the world. Since launch, Kahoot! has hosted hundreds of millions of learning sessions with 8 billion participants (non-unique) in more than 200 countries and regions. The Kahoot! Group includes Clever, the leading US K-12 EdTech learning platform, together with the learning apps DragonBox, Poio, Drops, Actimo, Motimate, and The Kahoot! Group is headquartered in Oslo, Norway with offices in the US, the UK, France, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Spain and Poland. Kahoot! is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker KAHOT. To learn more, visit us at Let’s play!