Quiet Quitting is the Future of Work w/ Danielle Farage

Quiet quitting taught us that the future is about quality of life. Companies will need to invest heavily in the employee experience so no one quits



11/21/202243 min read

Here's today's recap...In today's episode, I'm joined by Danielle Farage for a deep dive on the topic of quiet quitting. What is it, who does it affect, is it a short-term fad, and what can company leaders do to prevent it? Talk around quiet quitting started a number of months back and focused specifically on Gen-Z'ers. Yet, when you look at the various reasons why people are quiet quitting you see this is an everyone issue and in my belief at the heart of the future of work. Where people put their own happiness & well-being front and center. Not their work. Danielle is a rising influence in the Gen-Z space focusing mostly on the future of work.

Danielle on Linkedin

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Danielle's Website

People want more out of life than just work

The old adage of 'living to work' is finally flipping to 'working to live.' Gen Z'ers are coming into the workplace with the expectation they want more out of their job than just a paycheck. Work shouldn't just be transactional. Work 40 hours and receive a paycheck. Gen Z'ers want the company to invest in their success. Meaning building relationships with others in the organization. With colleagues, managers, and similar. L&D is another piece where the company invests in its team's success and future.

Historically benefits increases don't happen often. Especially these days when the cost of living and inflation have increased significantly but companies have not raised salaries in line. So this is something that definitely needs to be addressed. Both in setting clear targets and timelines for bumps in compensation but also ensuring that changes in the cost of living/inflation (especially drastic ones) are matched. Because simply, if an employee has a more difficult time paying their bills they will be less happy, engaged, and productive. Spending more energy finding a new higher paying job vs making your company more successful.

Quiet quitting isn't just about the $$

Yes, money is a factor as just detailed above but it's much more. It's about companies setting the right and realistic expectations, burnout, and engagement at work. We're currently in an economic downturn where many startups and large tech companies have cut significant % of staff. Companies at best are keeping previous targets in place or worse making them aggressive. Because they need to hit targets that will keep their investors happy to keep bailing them out with investment capital (not my rant this time). Let's use some examples. A Customer Support team has a team of 10 people to cover a daily average of 250 new tickets. The expectation is that the queue is cleared each day so tickets are left for the following day. Each member is expected to handle 25 tickets a day. This rate works and has a good customer satisfaction rating backing it up. Now sadly, 5 members of the team are let go. In this scenario, the number of tickets is likely not going to drop or at least not significantly (perhaps depending on B2B or B2C). What should happen is the SLA is adjusted to replying within 36 hours for example vs the 24. Instead, the team keeps the number in place. Expecting each member to handle 50 tickets a day. 2x'ing their load. While you may be thinking in tough times you have to work 2x as hard. That could be true but the reality is that someone will burn out 2x as fast. Burnout will negatively impact customer satisfaction. Once the person quiet quits, productivity will get worse as fewer people doing the job which negatively impacts the morale of the remaining team.

Next, the single most important lesson to come out of CoVid is people are much more focused on a better quality of life. And the expectation of the company to make that a reality. That could be remote work to spare a 60-minute grueling commute. Which enables an employee to surf in the morning for an hour rather than sit on a bus or train. Async communication removes the structured schedule of always having to be around. So the employee can do lunch with their spouse or not fearing being away from work so they can attend their child's [add event here].

Management not redesigning how the company operates, engages, or up-skills managers on how to lead remotely causes disengagement. If my manager only speaks to me once or twice a month and about work only I have little connection to them. I don't feel they have my best interests at heart or care about my success. If there are no intentional opportunities to hang out with my colleagues I feel more isolated from the team. Etc Etc. All leading me to find a greener pasture.

Quiet quitting isn't a Gen-Z thing. It's a Gen-everyone thing

I'm 40+ and have been working for more than 20 years (yikes!). Yet every aspect of what was said in this episode that is at heart to Gen-Z's quiet quitting is 100% relevant to me. It affects all age groups better. We all now expect more from our companies and whether they like it there will be a positive change. Companies will need to significantly increase the amount of money spent on building a better work environment for their employees or they won't have any left.

The only difference that I could imagine between folks my age vs Gen-Z'ers is the actual quitting. With more responsibilities (family & home) the older generation may not be as likely to quit. To be seen.

Scott - [00:00 - 00:08]

Hey, Danielle, welcome back. Excited to, have the first person, back for a second episode. So thank you, so much for joining today. How are you doing?

Danielle - [00:08 - 00:14]

I'm great. I'm honored to be the first returnee

Scott - [00:14 - 01:07]

No, it's, no, for sure. When, when this kind of topic came up. I don't know when I, like a month something ago, and we'll get into the idea of quiet quitting and like, I don't really know so much about it. And I started kind of know, trying to do research, and then as soon as I started to kind of do research, I'm like, Ah, no, I, this is like a perfect conversation for Danielle. so happy to, to have you, back. but yeah, so today's topic will be on the idea of quiet quitting. I know it's obviously been one of the big topics, that, has been in and around the news, especially around the future of work for the last maybe two plus months. now even somewhat pivoting from like quiet, quitting to quiet firing, and who knows what the, the next quiet something is going to be beyond that. but, no, to start off again, maybe just to remind everybody, who you are, talk about a little bit of the work that you do, especially around the future of work and, and the Gen Z stuff that you do. And we'll go from there.

Danielle - [01:07 - 03:05]

Yeah. Awesome. so I'm Danielle, and for those of you who don't know how to pronounce my last name, it's Garage with an F. So Farage, I've been saying that since I was in middle school, and I am a, a work futurist. I'm also a gener, so I'm 24, loud and proud about it. And I really, at the core of it, I dream of a world where everyone feels valued, supported and fulfilled in the workplace and beyond. And I essentially am a community builder. I, I bring people together to really talk about how we get there. I also help to market technology, that helps us also get there because I believe that innovation and change can only happen when tools and people can work together instead of, absolutely kinda against. And yeah, so I've been doing, you know, a lot of speaking advocacy and community building, really at these, this intersection of who we are, the cultures that we interact with and how we show up at work. And as you know, this younger person in the workplace, I just realize that the younger voices tend to be talked about but not necessarily asked, or spoken to. Yeah. And I really want to, through my content, and I, I do believe that I am doing this. I wanna foster more of this elevated consciousness, around, you know, what does Gen Z bring to the table? and also how can we learn about each other so that we can better bridge these gaps between employers and job seekers and talent, both in and outside of work. I'm a, I'm a big advocate of friendships, which is something that I, I, I coined a couple of months ago mm-hmm.

Danielle - [03:05 - 03:18]

really at the end of the day, I'm, I'm just trying to create more inclusive, equitable and, and dynamic cultures, and really bridge those gaps. So, yeah, I, I'm excited to, to chat today.

Scott - [03:18 - 03:51]

Oh, that's awesome. I'm glad to have you. So as kind of, I started off, when I first started hearing about the, the whole quiet quitting idea and started looking into it, the big focus, at least in the beginning, was very much on this is like a Gen Z problem. This was a Gen Z thing. always very focused on Gen Z, less on millennials, let's on know oak people like me. So maybe the easy, let's start off as a Gen Z person and as a Gen Z influencer, would love to hear what your interpretation or your definition of quiet quitting is.

Danielle - [03:51 - 05:39]

Yeah, I think there's multiple ways to interpret it. Absolutely. When, whenever there's something new going on, out there and there's a new term, I always like to look to my front tours to chat about this stuff. And, and really I look at other people in the space as thought partners for me. yeah. And so immediately I, I have this ongoing conversation with actually my old tutor from high school. Nice. And we have a great relationship. Her name is Elise Dub, and she's also in the space ofof leadership of, helping, She originally started like helping parents better communicate with their children and then started interesting some of that work into the workplace. And now it's extended farther beyond just parents and children, because we all need help communicating. And so we got a call. and you know, I think that the whole quiet quitting thing, what I kind of extracted from that conversation that we had was, it's not a new idea. I immediately, when I heard of it, I thought, Well, isn't this similar to coasting this? Like, I think it was, I'm not sure when that term was born. I think it was maybe a millennial term. It's like coasting at your job. Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. And that basically, you know, we all kind of know what that means. It's like working a job, but like, not really trying too hard and just kind of doing it to pay the bills and to just get through the day and, and livelihood. Right. I think you would, you maybe would think of it as living, working to, to live instead of living to work.

Scott - [05:39 - 05:42]

Absolutely. And we're gonna go on that one.

Danielle - [05:42 - 06:08]

Yeah. And, and I think, you know, I think it's, that's sort of what it, what it seems seemed like to me. and then as Elise and I dove deeper into really the, the article that came out, I think it was in the Wall Street Journal mm-hmm. we, we realized that the people in the article that they interviewed Yeah. Seemed like they were just kind of burnt out like a lot of people.

Scott - [06:08 - 06:10]

Yeah, Absolutely. Especially the last couple of years.

Danielle - [06:10 - 06:34]

Right. And I, I think we can all relate to that. and, and yeah. So I, I think that it, it's not necessarily that they were trying to quit their jobs. It was more like, I need to draw a better boundary for myself around work and how much I work and how much a company's asking of me.

Danielle - [06:35 - 06:45]

and how much I can actually do, and, and how much I wanna, you know, contribute. Like, because there's always this balance of like, what is a company giving me

Danielle - [06:46 - 07:21]

And, you know, how is it serving me, in every sense of the word, you know, mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, all of those things that we, we tend to, I think, forget that work can actually give us Sure. we, we sort of have, have this lower standard. and I think that the TikTok, the ticker was really saying like, if work isn't giving me everything Yep. That I need, then I'm gonna work a little bit less hard Sure. And I'm gonna combine that elsewhere and create space for that elsewhere.

Scott - [07:23 - 07:41]

I love the definition. We're actually gonna dive into this specifically before, again, just easy question before we really start to know, doing a deep dive. Do you think this is a Gen Z issue, whereas this a bigger issue that really affects, affects us all?

Danielle - [07:41 - 09:43]

I think that it's a, an issue that impacts everyone. And there are memes and videos that you can find about how Gen Z is just the loudest, generation in the workplace. And there's actually a study that 10 Spot did this is kind of older, like it's a couple years old from the pandemic, but in 20 20 10 Spot did a survey just around, you know, what do employees want at work? And, and just trying to understand what, what people wanted, because it was a really still is a very complicated and confusing time. And what actually came out of that research, which was the impetus for their focus on Gen Z, was that of the, I don't know how many thousands of people who they sent the survey to mm-hmm, Gen Z was like the loudest voice. Yeah. They wanted the most, you know, they, they expected the most, I think of their employers. They wanted to hold them to a higher standard. They Sure. You know, they wrote in what they would want from work if it wasn't there in the survey. So, you know, and I think that that really says a lot. I think we are an extension of millennials in that, in that we're, we want more, yeah. And I think we're kindred spirits with Gen X because Gen X sort of what was this optimistic, generation that came into the workforce and, and wanted that better integration and balance, but it just wasn't present yet. Yeah. And I think now we do have an opportunity to grasp that. Absolutely. And that's, that's sort of what we're doing as gen-Z'ers. It's like, yeah. If we know we can do it cuz remote work and technology, then why is it not being done yet?

Scott - [09:43 - 11:08]

Absolutely. And I, I, I love what you said. I wanna kind of put some pieces together. when I first began to, started looking into quiet, quitting, looking through the definition and, and what people are saying, my first response was like, this is, this is the future of work. This is everybody. This is not a Gen Z thing. And this is not something that just kind of popped out now. Cause what I try to say is what came out of the pandemic, no remote work, fantastic. But it really was the sense of, hey, I, it's quality of life. Like, I wanna be able to live the life that I choose and that I wanna live and with the people, spend the time with the people where I wanna do it. And work just nicely fits in. Now it's not going the old methodology of no, your life was book ended. At the end of the work day, it's, Hey, I can be home. I could get work done, I can go spend time, go, you know, with a hike every day. I can go to lunch, know with my spouse. I could pick up the kids, take them to no karate, what have you and work gets done and everything that lives harmoniously. And when I saw that, I said, this is to me like this is not a new thing. This is not a Gen Z thing. I mean like, this is everybody and this is, this is the essence of what the future of work is going to be to kind of say what your words were, where historically we used to be, we live to work, which is obviously terrible and that's not the way you wanna do it. And we're finally getting to a point where we're now flipping the script to going to, we work to live.

Scott - [11:08 - 12:14]

And I think it's, you know, the Gen Z again, from not being a Gen Z, the idea of Gen Z being loudest because us older people, like we just, this is how we grew up. Like we were used to this, this was, we were used to the grind, we're used to the hustle. you know, every one of the job posts that drives, I'm looking for a ninja and a hustler. And I'm like, Well, no, that's not what you want. I mean, people aren't, I mean, everyone's not a ninja. Nobody should be a ninja. I mean people, So for me it was like totally obvious. And I kind of, I loved what you said. And so kind of trying to break down what I, in the different kind of pieces that I saw, I saw, and at least to me, that, this topic is kind of goes in multiple directions. And what I would love to do is kind of talk about each one of the directions or each one of the ideas of what quiet quitting is. And then, because this podcast is obviously about leadership in remote environments, not just in remote, is how remote leaders can work with this or what they should be thinking about or what they should be doing in regard to these, these ideas. If that works for you.

Danielle - [12:14 - 12:15]

Let's do it.

Scott - [12:15 - 13:07]

Awesome. So I think the first one, which I think that probably came out of the idea from the TikTok video was, Hey, I'm going to do the minimum required work for what I'm paid. if you want me to do more work, you want me to hustle more, then hey, you're going to need to pay me more and you're going to need to do me benefits. So it's very much of a return of investment, right? You pay me a hundred K, this is what a hundred K is worth, it's worth, you know, eight hours a day, you know, one feature or, or code or one blog post a week or what have you. And that's what a hundred K a year pays. You want two blog posts or you want two features. Well, okay, well that's gonna be a hundred k plus something. So I'd love to kind of hear your take on, on this one idea or this one direction, and then maybe we'll dive into again what leaders should be thinking about or could be thinking or how this affects in the future work.

Danielle - [13:07 - 13:55]

Yeah, I think that's, you hit on a really real one. and I've actually written posts about this on LinkedIn about just the cost of living and the fact that the cost of living is outpacing the salary increase and has been for a long time, a long Time. And as the sort of remote conversation goes as far as that one goes, you know, there has also been talks about do you pay someone less if they work in a specific city, then your other workers, right? So if you hire a software engineer in New York, do you pay the software engineer who decides to move to North Carolina the same salary?

Danielle - [13:56 - 14:15]

Which is just, of course you're gonna pay the same because it's pay equity. And it's like if that person in New York doesn't have to really be there, but they are choosing to live there, then that's the salary they should get. And if the person in North Carolina wants to live there, it shouldn't matter because it's remote.

Danielle - [14:16 - 16:28]

And That's like the rule in my opinion. so when we talk about, you know, quiet, quitting and sort of this raising of the bar, I like to think of the realities of it. It's like if, and put yourself in the, in the shoes of like an entry level person. I think that's the easiest way to sort of think about these things as far as equity goes. you start a job, you get paid $45,000 a year mm-hmm. to live in Manhattan, you're basically paying, you know, minimum rent 20, $24,000 as just your rent. Yep. So maybe you're walking away with, you know, not much. and then at work, your team is understaffed. Yeah. Because maybe it's a toxic workplace and you don't really get to see your coworkers very much. or maybe you do, but there's not much social interaction, so you're not really getting that. You obviously your team is understaffed, so you're not getting a lot of face time with your manager mm-hmm. and morale goes down. Yeah. So what are you gonna do? You're going to, you're gonna either fall into a depression, Yeah. Cause everyone needs social interaction. Absolutely. Or you're gonna work less so that you can make time for the things that make you feel alive. Yep. And in my opinion, if a company is, you know, is understaffed and or, and, or there's massive layoffs or, you know, whatever the situation may be, if somethings out of balance, you're going to need to focus on yourself and, and really ask yourself and be in touch with that about what do I need in this moment? So I think that the whole quiet quitting thing is really, it's, it's, part of it I think is like, well, evaluating what I need in this moment is more important than the company.

Danielle - [16:28 - 17:41]

And traditionally companies always think like, Oh, the company is the most important thing in your life, but if it's not serving you in the way that you need to be served in, that your soul needs to be fed than, is it? Yeah. And I think people are really starting to question that of like, should I really be putting work first? Sure. And going back to something you said earlier about sort of like the, you know, wanting to hire a ninja and all that stuff. Yeah. Like those people who are hiring us or are in leadership positions don't know what it's like to not prioritize work in your twenties Sure. Or to, or to deprioritize it for mental health because Yep. Well, you never talked about mental health before E Exactly. So, so there's just a lot of things where it's like, I think the best way to move forward is, is to try to understand each other and to put ourselves in, in those shoes of people who are in different circumstances. Yeah. because that's the way that you grow. It's the way that you like can actually serve your employees.

Scott - [17:41 - 18:43]

Yeah. Yeah. I like that. And I like the idea, it's what you had said, kind of are very much around like engagement. If you feel engaged to work, okay, you're connected, but if you're not, for whatever reason is, and again, we're gonna go in there for the, for the leadership point. Like, then you take that step back and say, Hey, if I'm not engaged to work, I need, Right. My mental health, I need engagement. So I'm going to look for that outside the office. The, the one direction that I look at it, is historically right, We've always paid people for presents, right? I pay you to be in the office from nine to five. Hey, if you come in eight, if you stay six, seven, you stay late. Like, oh, you're the superstar, Right? You're, you're the hustler, You're the whatever. You're spending more time in the office and you're trying to be the superstar. That's again, and we've seen all the research that says, no, it bets people are spending four hours, four and a half hours out of those eight plus hours actually doing work. So we know that presence doesn't in any way could equal, productivity where we're going.

Danielle - [18:43 - 18:47]

And might I add, might I add also that we pay for attendance at School? And we're evaluated partially in our grade by attendance, or at least we were.

Scott - [18:54 - 20:27]

Yeah. Yeah. So as we're moving towards the future of work and we're moving away from president and we're moving more towards the idea of contribution, Right? I need you to produce X by Y time. That's what I'm paying you for. I'm paying you for this. Like, again, as I've said in many episodes, we're kind of coming back to like the freelance model or freelance approach. So the idea of, hey, I want to kind of take a step back if I'm focused now, well, I just need to produce this. Right? By that time, that's what I'm getting paid for. So again, you're paying me for a blog post every week. And so long as I produce a blog post every week, then I'm getting what I paid for. And again, if you want two block posts or whatever the job is, then you're paying the plus x. so I think again, that very much aligns with that. So kind of now looking at like the leadership perspective, if you take kind of the two visions and the beloved, your thoughts, number one, as a leader, especially remote, as remote is the future. How do you focus on engagement? How do you focus on spending time, building relationships with your team, getting the team together to build relationships so they can, again, feel more connected? And again, which is not going to necessarily mean, Hey, now I wanna spend all my time in the office. But it may mean, okay, you're getting, you're not as frustrated or disappointed or burnt out in the office environment because you have more than engagement one And number two, how do we, how do leaders start thinking of, Hey, this person works here, or we're paying them, or we're hiring them for their contribution.

Scott - [20:27 - 20:38]

So moving away, thinking less about the time they actually spend in the office and the office are working and focusing more on the contribution. So love to hear your thoughts.

Danielle - [20:38 - 21:06]

Yeah, it's a big question. I think it's something that a lot of people are talking about, and I think there, I sort of look at it as the remote first experience is comprised of the experience when someone is not working in the same area as their teammates.

Danielle - [21:07 - 21:31]

And the time when they are. So personally for me, I have joined teams where I'm co-located in this in the same city but haven't met my coworkers in person. Yeah. Because of the pandemic, I might ask. Sure. If not for the pandemic, it would've been probably different.

Danielle - [21:32 - 23:39]

So that's like forced remote. I kind of think that that is like a separate Yeah, absolutely. But if you are co-located in the same city, which we go, or we do these, quarterly ish meetups mm-hmm. . So I actually go to Paris and I meet with my team and I'm there for two weeks and we're co-located for those two weeks. Yeah. And on the regular basis, they are co-located in Paris and meet once a week. So on those days where I'm remote or I'm even co-located with them and they're, and we're all remote. I think that it's important to really keep, keep tabs on like what everyone's doing. I think half the week I would say is really about heads down work and maybe a little bit more. and then the other half of the week is really about collaboration. and so when I'm not co-located with my team in Paris, I think what's the most important is to have regular check-ins at least once a month with my boss to really talk about, Okay. What's working, what's not working? Yeah. And to evaluate that work life design. Sure. Because I think it's not a skill that a lot of people have learned how to do is to not at all. Right. And I think that in this next phase of hybrid work, whatever it might look like for any company, I really do believe that it's on the company to help us optimize for that healthy life work integration mm-hmm. and to give us the tools and technology and advice and guidance and all those lovely things Yeah. To help us really get that optimal work life, life work integration. Yeah. and that would mean, what does that even mean?

Danielle - [23:39 - 25:29]

Right? It's like sway workplace is doing great work in this where each person is, you know, writing out when are the times that you feel most productive, most creative? When do you feel like you need social interaction or you feel drained? What are the things that, you know, give you a little bit more energy? and so you do that on an individual basis, and then with your team, you actually go through, Okay, what are the meetings that we have currently? Could we move them? Priya Parker Art of Gathering is also a great resource for this kind of stuff because she really does talk about what is the purpose of coming together and are we accomplishing what we showed up to actually do. Sure. and if the answer becomes no, then you have to reevaluate what is this meeting really for. Yeah. so I think just, you know, this like open curiosity Yeah. To how are we working and, and could we be doing it better? And also like, just monthly check-ins, like I said, at least once. and, and asking your remote employees, you know, to speak first at meetings instead of last. I'd also say when we're co-located and I, we do these quarterly, meetups. We're, we're doing an offsite, next month. Yeah. So we're actually going to the countryside in, in France. We're spending a few days there, and we're just gonna like jam and I hope that we don't talk about work. I'm gonna suggest that as a rule. And that's, that's definitely something that's point of bres. Exactly. I'm seeing like a lot of teams like Atlassian, I was speaking to their new head of Intentional Connection, that's her title. Incredible. Interesting.

Danielle - [25:29 - 26:03]

Liz Leary. and she has been in charge of, you know, creating these offset experiences for Trello. and then I'm pretty sure Atlassian acquired Trello, so Yeah. Yeah. when that happened, you know, she be, she then built that for the internal team, across the board and Atlassian is remote. So it's kind of like, how do we recreate this camaraderie and, and these, this experience of the offsite in a new culture, which I think is hard. but yeah, those are like just some of the things that I, we've been thinking about as a team, I think are honestly global.

Scott - [26:03 - 27:29]

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, I, I, I agree with the idea is I think the first thing, latter half of what you said we're obviously future of our mode is more than synchronous, Right. Work, more work meetings will be videos or documents or what have you, which is, is the way it should be. Especially informational meetings should almost never be synchronous. And using that synchronous time more for relationship building. The way I run my two teams, it's all the work, the one-on-ones in the team meetings, the work portion that's done, asic here's a presentation, here's like a video of me walking through it, watching on your own time, questions, feedback, and the time we get together, either one on ones or team meetings, it's relationship building as a team. We play games, we do show and tells. We do things that learn about each other, just to spend time getting to know each other, building those relationships. and one on ones it's very much of like, Hey Danielle, how are you? How was your weekend? Know? How was the, the trip to the France? Oh, send me some pictures and what did you do? And very much focus on like the relationship. I, I think leaders definitely need to be doing it more often than once a month. at least every two weeks, but what have you. and then obviously IRL is getting people together as often as we'll call possible economically possible. but in, in between those kind of getting people together. So to totally on board, love what you said. Let's go to number two. Number two kind of, I think the big one was burnout. People just burnt out. Covid. Two and a half years, years of like, the world is being like a total mess.

Scott - [27:29 - 27:58]

chaos of kind of extra pressure at work. You know, especially these days with the economy is what it is. There's lots of downsizing. People are kind of nervous of what's going on. and I think that kind of then translate, Hey, people are just escaping. Right? I think the best word to try to use is escape, like that extra stress and headache and people like, Hey, I just don't wanna deal with this. I don't want that pressure. so kind of love your thoughts on that idea. And again, like from a leadership perspective, what leaders can be doing to try to prevent this.

Danielle - [27:58 - 28:16]

Yeah. I've been through burnout, Are we all Pretty, pretty open about it, which I think is healthy.

That's the first thing I would say. Just being really upfront about where you're at and not just asking, Oh, how are you doing? But how are you?

Second, I'd say just being really, or trying to learn how to pick up on people's behaviors, expressions.

Danielle - [28:44 - 30:52]

We totally do that remotely. Absolutely. There have been times where my boss has called me out being like, Yeah, you were quiet during that meeting. Yep. How are you? What's going on? Yeah. Yeah. It's just, you know, it's that simple sometimes. Yep. And other times it's not that simple. Other times it's, you know, work isn't gonna get done because just can't. Yeah. And there's no, you know, And, and that's really, that's human. Yeah. And I think that we tend to, you know, I don't love the word productivity mm-hmm. because I don't think that it's, it's human. Mm-hmm. it, it doesn't express the human side of work. Like what does it, what actually does it take to perform? Yeah. It's, it's mental clarity, it's creativity, it's the right environment. It's loving what you're doing. It's, it's all of these things. And I think even if one of those things is off, it becomes absolutely really difficult to even get out of bed. Absolutely. And so, Right. Like, that's, that's what I think of immediately when you ask me about burnout. It's just we need to be more empathetic. Yep. Generally across the word. And I think some of the, some of the stuff gets kind of lost in the conversation about benefits. you know, benefits are important. Sure. I also think that every person needs something different. Of course. And the way that benefits have been designed have not been conducive to that, to Yep. Giving, serving people in the ways that they need. I mean, the fact that we don't totally agree, have federal parent paternity, maternity, you know, laws that really serve us in the way that we need them to is a great example. but I think that there is definitely a, a lot of innovation happening there. Danielle - [30:52 - 32:45]

Yeah. Are things like this company, Luna, I think maybe you know them. Yeah. Luna is helping companies really personalize their, their benefits and what they offer and, and how they help companies sort of serve their employees. Yeah. And I also think that there's a big focus on, on stress management mm-hmm. Cause, you know, stress I think is something that is lethal. It, it can really kill. And it's also something that we know that we can combat. so what are those like first steps, right? It's not just about hiring, you know, a consultant or putting everyone on a program, or giving people $75 for mental health every month. It's really more about like, Okay, how can we do this together collectively? Yeah. Like maybe if someone finds innovation that excites them, Hey, let's try it out for three months. Like, let's crowdsource ideas about how, you know, to, to really combat and, and also get personal. I I've had a lot of conversations with people over the past few months about really just the power of sharing, what you're personally doing with your team. My friend Taylor has these, this, this rule. She's a community builder. She has this rule. It's like on Monday nights she doesn't commit to anything. Yeah. She doesn't do anything. She, she takes Monday nights and she has them for herself and for her boyfriend at home. Yeah. And that's her rule for herself. Sure. and I think that's really powerful because when you put it in place, these boundaries for yourself, it then shows other people, you know, how you're prioritizing you. And it also helps to inspire them to try to be brave enough to do the same Yeah. And to share what they're doing. Danielle - [32:45 - 33:02]

Right. And I think that just creates a culture of, of empathy and, and caring for ourselves and one another. Yeah. That is what the quiet quitting trend really is. Born, born out of the, you know, the lack thereof. Yeah.

Scott - [33:02 - 34:18]

Yeah. Again, again, lot, lot here. That, that he said was great off shotted somebody, if I can remember the order, I, the first thing idea of sharing. Absolutely. And there, certainly as a leader, the way you get people to share is you as a leader, you share first, right? They, they follow the captain. If you're out there and you're sharing your experiences, your feedback, what's going on with you, you create that environment, of transparency and empathy of, Hey, my leader is able to say that he, he or she was having this and this is what happened with them and they needed a mental health day off. That makes it okay for me to share. But I wanna share. And I, I think that's crucially important. I've been pushing myself to try to do that with my teams. a second thing, that next thing that you said, which I really like, was the idea of, and I think it may also require some training, which, you know, again, isn't a whole nother topic to be able to pick up on those nuances, right? When somebody's off, you know, whether it's on the zoom call or, you know, we do daily standups in, one of the questions in daily standups is like, how you feeling today? And you're right. You have like five emojis from like super happy to like sad. And for me, like I religiously look at that every day. And if somebody has a sad face, like that's a flag. Hey, I need to reach out to this person. Like right now, stop whatever I'm doing and reach out to this person. Or if they have like a kind, a neutral face for like three, four days in a row, Hey, I need to reach out to this person.

Scott - [34:18 - 35:40]

Cause something's, something's off. Right? And, and, and I need as a leader to kind of see these things or changes in behavior, like you had mentioned with you, with your leader, and automatically reach out. As soon as you see something, like something doesn't feel right, you gotta go after it. and then I love the idea of, of empathy. And I think also it aligns it very much with what we spoke about before, and like the future of being on contribution. Remember I had someone on my team who was going through some mental health challenges. There were definitely days where like, they were, you know, productivity, sorry to use that word, was kind of low. And they like apologized for it. and I said, Hey, listen, again, the future work where we're going is based on contribution. You know what you need to do when you need to do it by like, Hey, if you have a bad day, that's totally cool, right? Everybody has bad days. If you, I suggest, if you really have a bad day, like just say, Hey, send me a message. I'm gonna be out today, mental health day, I'm, and I'll give you a thumbs up. Like, that's great. So I think also we have to change that approach where if we see somebody not so productive day or two days, we're not like automatically jumping on them, Hey, why aren't you doing anything of, why didn't you produce this today? When we shift more towards like, Okay, by the end of the week I need this. And being able to focus more on the big picture, it something that I've done with my teams and I've tried to be religious about it, is being, trying to, being proactive, right?

Scott - [35:40 - 37:00]

So every, I push everyone on my team to take off one continuous week every single quarter, right? You could take like every startup, like we all have unlimited vacation, which, you know, there's lots of feed research about, nobody takes those days off. But I very much sit, I sit on my employee every one on one, every team meeting, like, get your time booked in the calendar, so you could take out a whole week. So it's a full week. It's not like a couple days here, a couple days there. And I've heard feedback from across my team of saying like, Hey, I didn't think I needed this time off, but as soon as I had it, I'm like, I, it was so appreciative. Like I, I, it really made a difference. and yeah, just, and I think with like, the idea with benefits, you know, I totally agree. And I had, I think a person on the first episode of season two, was building a company called Comped, which you're focusing on more on like stipends around the specific area. Because as you said, right, for some people, mental health means access to a mental health professional. For other people, it may mean a calm or a Headspace subscription other people means it's, Hey, let me put on my running sneakers, let me go out for like an hour long run. So it's something different, right? And if you kind of just very cookie cutter here, we're giving access to this. Well, that may not help me and I may not get any value out of that. So yes, as leader need to be focusing on much more, again, like baskets or ideas, Hey, we're gonna give you stipends. We're gonna do something within like this specific topic.

Scott - [37:00 - 38:30]

Because again, for Danielle means one thing for Scott, it means something else. And we wanna make sure that everyone has the opportunity to take advantage of, of that benefit. So, so I love that. kind of moving on to another idea, which we kind of spoke about already, feeling it's very much related to the lack of effort companies make around company culture. And I think so much so the last few months where like, there's so much downsizing, it not every company's like in war mode, right? Gotta batten down the hatches, like crazy war mode. Like don't, And I think a lot of companies are missing the idea of, I, I wish I'd to say it simple, right? Happy employees equal happy customers, unhappy employees, equal unhappy employees. So now, even though you're in bo mode and scouts like now, anytime you need to be spending more money and more time building engagement, building culture now because your team needs it now. Because yes, I think when, like, when there's nothing going on and there's no team building and there's no fun and everything is just work, work, work, you're gonna fall into the traps. We start off at number one. It's like, I don't check with my colleagues, I don't spend time with them doing, having fun. I don't get together with them. All it is is just work and deliverables, and that's all everybody cares about and numbers. Hey, I need it. Right? I need that social interaction, I need that break, I need that. So I'm going to step back because if the company's not gonna give it to me, I'm gonna take it myself. maybe you wanna add a couple of thoughts, in there as well.

Danielle - [38:30 - 40:24]

Yeah, I agree. it's, it's really, it's something that I've actually written about that, you know, this, this idea of the superstars, I like to call them the shooting stars internally in an organization, these people who just elevate everything, they, they're in a meeting and you know, they're in a meeting. they, they're the first person that you wanna tell about a new idea or initiative for, for socializing. And they are often connectors internally. And so you have these individuals who, and I think on a, on an episode with, with Draw Poag, you were, you were talking about sort of these profiles of people who are specialists. Yeah. And oftentimes these superstar people are also specialists. So then you have the, the constellations, the, the average, you know, but obviously like average doesn't really describe who they are. Yeah. But you know, the average people who make up and are the fabric of the organization. Yeah. And I think it's, it's difficult to, to be either one, right? It's like, it's difficult to be a superstar shooting star because you are, you have this like, extra stuff that you have to give. And of course it's part of who you are, but it's also like, it's demanding. You know, you're the one maybe organizing events and you're the one, you know, advocating to the C-suite about why they should spend money on an offsite, or do these, you know, exciting things. And that can be really exhausting. you're also like, you tend to be emotional support for other people.

Danielle - [40:25 - 41:15]

And then when that person leaves, then like, what happens if you put all the emphasis and you give them all the, you know, or they take really the initiative, then what happens to the rest of the culture when they leave? Everyone else is impacted. And I know several companies where this has happened recently where they're, you know, maybe the world to some people has left or disappeared or, or been fired. And, and I think that it's really hard to adjust because it then, it's like picking up the pieces. It's like, Okay, what do I do? Like who do I go to now? And, and I think there's a lot of people who are feeling this like emptiness or this like loss. Yeah. It really is a personal loss.

Danielle - [41:15 - 43:01]

So now to focus more on the positive side, right? Yeah. Like how, how do we maybe shift the focus in today's age, in a remote first or distributed or hybrid team Yeah. To the constellations. Because if you focus on, well, how do I build connection between teams, right? We already have the strong ties to our own teams, but what about to from team to team, the intra team sort of dynamics or cohesion. Yeah. and we shift the focus to empowering these different social groups internally to be more social and to, and to interact with one another and to, you know, have these sort of water cooler moments, however, sure. You know, you wanna say it, but really this, this idea of when you meet new people who share interests, which interest is really how, at least at Cafe, we're thinking about the future of work. And instead of tying people to a location, you tie them first to an interest. Yeah. When you help them find each other that way. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. and, and really I think that helps to build the, the fabric to be super strong and durable. Yeah. So that when there's a slight tear on the end, or maybe even in the middle, it's much easier to mend. Yeah. Because you do have a strong foundation for how people are able to interact and, and how often I would say Sure. People are also able to interact and develop those weak ties that make an organization for strong.

Scott - [43:01 - 44:15]

Yeah. I, I totally agree. I know we're so much short on time and I have two more points. We'll try to get a, get through them kind of quickly. So the first one was the quality of life that we started off the conversation of people have experienced better quality of life through covid, and this is what they want. So more from the leadership perspective, right? If you understand your employees wanna spend time with their family, they wanna spend time in their own communities, they wanna spend doing things, how do you enable that? Maybe even, how do you reward that? And how do you bring that engagement like back into the company? Like, I've seen some companies do some like kind of very cool things, like GitLab into HubSpot, who would have like family or kid know Zoom calls where you'd bring the, it'd be just the kids, or like, so having that understanding, Hey, I'm with my family, my family is important, and saying, Okay, family is important, We want to, we wanna enable that with new organization. How do we bring families of people in the organization together? And how do we enrich that? so again, I would love some maybe thoughts on, again, what leaders can be thinking about now as we move forward. Especially around like, the idea of quality of life. How do you connect, how do you bring in, how do you nurture and reward those ideas of family and community and all the things again, people are focusing on now.

Danielle - [44:15 - 45:19]

Yeah. You know, I think part of it is bringing who people are to the organization. So I remember listening to Darren Murphy about, you know, having a half day or a full day on Friday where it's community day and you go out into your community and you volunteer or you do something with your family, and you the, you know, the only, the only requirement is you have to send a photo or you have to come, you know, on Monday and share what you have done. So I love those, those ideas. Absolutely. I would say, you know, another idea is to really leverage the information that you have about people mm-hmm. in a way that is actionable. So like a lot of the time you'll hire and you'll have people fill out their H r I S thing and you like ask them, okay, like, what are your allergies? Like, maybe you'll ask them, What are your favorite foods? Like, you know, and all that. And a lot of the time that kind of just sits and it isn't leveraged.

Danielle - [45:20 - 47:03]

So, you know, I think one of the things that you can do is to, and we're working on this now, to actually be able to visualize in an organization what are the common interests across the board. And then to be able to, you know, give people ownership. I know that, I'm not, I'm not sure if I can say the name of the company, but a really large company in the, in the crypto space, they give people $150 budgets, to really do this with social, I think they call it like a social budget. And if you had, if they had the technology that, that we're really creating now, people would be able to like, create an event and then be able to like showcase that to the people who also share the same interests. Yeah. So let's say you wanted to do a yoga class and you wanted to use your $150 to, you know, hire a yoga teacher and do yoga on the roof of your hq, or of your WeWork, you know, your WeWork pass, whatever it is. And you'd be able to do that, on the company dime. And that is like building connection. It's also interesting bringing who you are into the workplace. even if it doesn't happen at a workplace, like you could do it in the park, doesn't really matter. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But essentially leveraging what you know about people, giving that knowledge to, to, or employees, you know, so that I can, I know Scott, what you're into because maybe I wanna make new friends and, and venture outside of my, So I think giving people ownership is, is I think the, the next sort of, thing on employers minds.

Danielle - [47:03 - 48:13]

Because the truth is, before the pandemic people ops was like in charge of people Events stuff and like people stuff. Exactly. And it's not necessarily the healthiest way to do it, cuz it's like, then it's like, Oh, I feel like I'm being forced to go to this thing. Yeah, yeah. Versus organic intentional connections. Yeah. And just like everyone wants to meet. Yeah. For the most part. Like, a lot of people wanna meet new people, so isn't it better to just enable that to happen without sort of having to intervene and just creating these, you know, definitely giving people the right tools and technology, like I said before, but also the parameters of like, you know, you know, if you go outside and you do something, you have to share it. If you, you know, do an event, we need a photo or a video. Yeah. And like that's employer branding, right? Yeah, Yeah, yeah, yeah. So there's, there's a lot of things that you can do with the right technology, I think. and also just the right, like boundaries and, and asks of people to, to build that cohesion and, and also to like be able to showcase that to the world, like who you are as a company.

Scott - [48:13 - 49:44]

Yeah. No, I, I love that. I love the, the idea that Kit Lab has that, you know, Friday, Friday once a month or something in the sharing the photos. I've spoken about that on a lot of the episodes. The idea of of switching the enablement of event coordination to the employees and giving them a budget's actually very fascinating. We may have spoken that on the, on the last episode that I, I have a thought of, you know, in the future of work, is engagement the focus of the company itself or is it on the kind of the community itself and the thought of especially as like co-working different things grow up, like co-working spaces will become much more niche and will be very focused on, like, they'll be the ones who have to run events and, and you'll need the community people to make people wanna work in your space versus all the other spaces. Not cuz again, I think we'll be democratized not just gonna be WeWork or large places, it's gonna be everywhere. It's gonna be co-working, right? So you'll wanna have people work in your space and so then you is a center or a community will need to build these opportunities for people to get together on, based on specific topics. But I never thought about that idea of, of giving employees money to create events themselves. Obviously it could be remotely, it could be hybrid, could be a mix of things like that. They're very, very interesting. you have, you have two more minutes? I have one more question. If not then, yeah, we can end here. All good right? Thank you. So last one's more kind of around the other half of like the quiet firing where for me, I think it's, we're almost three years into the pandemic.

Scott - [49:44 - 51:07]

I'm amazed that most companies still haven't invested in training and upscaling their managers on how to lead remotely. They're still stuck in kind of the old ways of doing so. And like, I mean the reasoning or the ideas around the quiet firing of like, there's no feedback and there's no kind of clear sense of what's expected of you and there's no professional development and kind of that link to the quiet firing. And I think very much a lot of those things comes in that lack of training of how to do things remotely. I could say my last manager, you know, was great on the side of, Hey, I'm very supportive, whatever you need, I've got your back. And if you run into things just like throw me under the bus and put my name on it. And a fantastic, you know, from a fantastic like leadership perspective, but they didn't have that experience remotely. So we had a kind of a one on one every other week and usually one of them always got postpone or really canceled. So it tend to be like, I would speak to speak to my manager like once a month. So in like once a month from theirs perspective, from a leader perspective, like how do you kind of really know what your team, your, your employees, your whoever your direct boards are doing, and how do you know the impact they're making? Like you really don't, So then you kind of get frustrated and you kind of like push them away on the other side. Like as an employee, if I only speak to you once a month, how do I know that I'm doing a good job? How do I know I'm going in the right direction?

Scott - [51:07 - 52:07]

How do I know the impact I'm making is the right impact? Like, how am I growing? So I think there's such a desperate and really baffled, truly, truly baffled, like just such a desperate need for really training, upscaling these managers. Cuz still almost three years in, most managers have absolutely no idea what they're doing in a remote environment. They've just kinda take these office practices and, Right. I mean the proximity is the biggest issue, right? When you're in the office, like, I could see you, I, I could see we could have a conversation in the water cooler at lunch, whatever. But now like you have to be intentional, right? You have to intentionally create the one-on-ones every other week and you have to understand, hey, I can't put something else in the slot, right? Because this is my only time to build a relationship with the person that's working with that I don't see. so kind of last couple thoughts, before we end up for today on from leader on that side, how can or what can like leaders be doing to train the upskill to be able to be better? So again, we're not running into this now quiet firing on the, on the other side.

Danielle - [52:07 - 52:19]

Yeah. I have so many problems with the way that we promote and make people managers.

Scott - [52:19 - 52:22]

Oh Please, that's for another episode, season four.

Danielle - [52:22 - 53:47]

That's, yeah. That's for another time. I'll try to focus on, you know, what people can do. I'd say part of it is like trying to keep tabs I think on like, how are people learning? The, one of the my favorite questions to ask people in interviews is like, how do you stay up to date on best practices in your industry, in your function? Yeah. Nice. And I think it's just like super eye opening because first of all then it's like, what's the budget for that? Sure. Because you kind of have an ideas like, is the learning free? Yeah. You know, it's, it's possible to even ask like, what do you spend on personal growth and development per year? What would you need? and, and so that's like, I think a big one for me personally also as an employee, it's like I need to, to have that curiosity and that mindset of like, I wanna constantly learn that growth mindset, right? And I know that learning takes investment. It's not all gonna be like, especially the learning that I wanna do. It's not all gonna be free. and of course you could find it free, but just the experience, the cohort groups, the, you know, the type of learning that I wanna engage in that I learn best from. Yeah. Which is another thing you should know about yourself. Yeah. It's not, it's not always free.

Danielle - [53:48 - 55:48]

So I think just getting a grasp on like how much do people need to grow, yeah. Professionally and personally. And then the other thing, with managing is like, just kind of like showing up, you know, for people when you know that they need it. I don't know, like, you know, it's like the monthly meetings, it's kind of like I need to, you know, I need to put a meeting on their calendar cuz they just finish this big project and maybe they're, they're not sure what to do next. Sure. just like kind of keeping tabs maybe a little bit or having regular check-ins if someone's doing a really long project. Sure. is, is really great. roping in the necessary people that they might need help. You know, they, they might need someone's perspective. Sometimes the best perspective we get is external, if we're feel stuck. And then I would also say like, on up on like managing and upskilling specifically. another thing that has been really crucial for me is just joining the right communities. And, and obviously it's connected to what we just talked about with co-working, but Sure. Your friends are your best coworkers. Yeah. And so making sure that your employees have the right spaces to work in mm-hmm. where they're surrounded by other people who maybe could help them. Yeah. and, and even and if like they don't have that like, you know, try to help them get it. I personally did it for myself and, you know, if, if I had been helped in doing that, that or like, you know, like, because my coworkers in France have their third spaces, they have their smaller communities. Cause in Europe it's actually more common to have these third spaces that of like communities that like are your friends.

Danielle - [55:48 - 56:20]

and so being able to have that, like my boss did give me a WeWork membership or like ask me like, which, which co-working space do you want to, being able to go out and to and to discover and to have that freedom to explore was really big. Cuz it gave me the, I think the freedom and opportunity to go find my community where I do feel supported and like, feel, I feel like I belong even when I, I'm so far from my actual team.

Scott - [56:20 - 56:29]

That's awesome. I love it. so wrapping up, people who want to get connected with you, learn more about what you do. How do they find you?

Danielle - [56:29 - 57:22]

Yeah, so I'm actually, my, my website is under development right now, so it's not gonna work if you try to go to danielle farage.com. it will be soon. It's, I'm building a, a really exciting new, new site. Nice. And, in the meantime, you can go to my LinkedIn and that's just my name, Danielle Farage. There's no one else with the same name. And, and I also am, I have a monthly newsletter that I, I put out. I just kind of launched it a couple months ago. Nice. so if you want to, you know, be up to date on the, on the Gen Z perspective, aka me Nice on the future of work, you know, go, go follow that newsletter. and just follow my content. Like, happy to also connect with anyone. Awesome. I love meeting new people, so.

Scott - [57:22 - 57:54]

Amazing. Well, we'll put all those links in the show notes and yeah. Danielle, thank you so much again for joining, for an episode this season and, and sharing perspective now that the, the Gen Z perspective on this whole idea of quiet quitting and is it related to just Gen Zs a bigger thing? Is it the kind of core of future of work? So appreciate you joining again today and again, maybe for next season, we'll, we'll dive into, to another topic. but yeah, for everyone listening until the next episode, have a wonderful day.