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Remote Culture | Quiet Quitting | Candidate Experience

Welcome to the first edition of HR Brain Pickings. We talk ab HR trends, Analytics, DE&I, Organization Culture, Organisational Structure, and everything HR.

The modern workplace is not restricted by four walls anymmore. Businesses allow employees to work wherever they feel most productive - a mountain, by the sea or in your room, you just need internet and equipment.

In Today’s edition, We'll talk about :

  • Remote work culture and how to nail it
  • Quiet Quitting
  • 1:1 on Remote working
  • Why is onboarding important

Permanently Remote culture

"I don't have to worry about my travel time. I don't have to worry about what am I gonna have for lunch in the morning. You know, I can just whip up something at one o'clock or two o'clock and it's gonna be fine. I think my favorite part about like remote working is that I can take calls from my pajamas. It's just the comfort and the flexibility. I feel more productive too." Says Maitreyi from, a fully remote organization.

Despite the challenges we hear about, there are promising experiments underway at companies that demonstrate how to make organizations stronger and more resilient in a remote-first future. This thread below tells us how to get the remote culture right -

Organizations are going through a challenge to find their cultural core- remote, hybrid, or in-office. Whatever you choose, Your culture doesn't have to get lost mid-way.

Quiet Quitting

Quiet quitting is not actually quitting, but doing the bare minimum at your job, enough to not get fired. This has always existed in workforces, people just didn’t identify a term for it. Since the pandemic, millions of people are not going above and beyond at work and are simply meeting their job description.

There is a very fine line between quiet quitting and having boundaries. An employee who reevaluates their priorities in life and recognizes that work is a subset of life rather than the other way around is not quitting. It's insensitive to assume that just because they don't want to work past their scheduled hours or do more than what they're paid for, they've mentally quit. Going above and beyond has become so common in corporate culture that anyone who does not do so is labeled a slacker. The trend is resonating strongly with Gen Z and Millennial employees fighting to rewrite workplace rules.

Heet Tike, co-founder of Ripen said “I've realized it is more about being a rock star in the nine hours that you're working and not a rock solid 24 hours of the time, right? So a person going above and beyond doesn't need to go above and beyond in terms of how much time they're spending. They need to go above and beyond in terms of the output they have. And that has a direct correlation with how efficient they are.”

“Quiet quitting is basically doing what you’re paid for,” a KPMG employee told us. It is just another sign of workers – sometimes not even consciously – looking for ways to feel less burnt out, more motivated, and more engaged.

Niharika who is Linkedin Top voice 2022 wrote that she realized “maybe I was quiet quitting corporate culture since the day I started.”

Similarly, Deloitte USI’s employee said he didn't know what he wanted to do and where his career was headed. He just wanted a brand tag on his resume, so he was doing the bare minimum throughout his job. He has been Quiet Quitting since Day 1.

A lot of companies who mass hire, let Quiet Quitting slide because cost of hire > cost of getting subpar work. The attrition rate of college hires is high and According to Deloitte, the average cost-per-hire is $4,000. It takes 50-60% of the employee’s salary to find his or her direct replacement. The cost of hiring an employee does not just include his or her salary. It includes the recruiter’s salary, time and efforts, training and onboarding costs, and more that add to the overall expense of making a new hire. It is more cost-efficient to put employees on a Performance Improvement Plan and review them closely.

Read more about it here.

Every week, we schedule our weekly 1:1 with our readers. Want to be featured in an upcoming edition? Click here to introduce yourself.

This week we’re in conversation with Siddhant Sil - who works at Airmeet, a 350-member organization, fully remote. We talk about Remote work culture.

How would you define the culture at your organization?

I'd like to bifurcate this point into four parts:

a. Onboarding Process - The onboarding process for me was really smooth, with the HR constantly being in contact with me - which is a sign of reassurance.

b. Leadership - The management is very transparent and empathetic. We have an open Slack channel where anyone can ask the leadership anything, anonymously. Whenever a genuine question pops up, our CEO/CMO/Directors make sure to take some time out to answer it. We also have a #gratitude channel wherein people can appreciate each other for the work they do.

c. Time off - We have unlimited PTO. Take as many offs as you need, no questions asked. Ofcourse, we make sure to complete any pending tasks before our long vacation plans :p

d. Team/Pod interactions - I can only comment on this for the Marketing team. We have some set team values which reflect the way we talk/interact/get work done. Really helps. People are helpful and they make sure to unblock stuff for each other.

How does async communication work for you?

The marketing team is big on async. We only get on a call when it's really necessary. We have different Slack channels for each pod in the department (separate channels for marketing events, partnerships, demand gen, and so on). A lot of people keep some time blocked for focus work with notifications off, which is appreciated. We're also constantly trying to replace short messages with emoji reactions (OK, thank you, on it, I agree etc.). Also, Asana is a lifesaver.

Apart from that, we have a weekly business review meeting which clearly gives out the current health of the organisation, our quarterly spends & revenue.

Do you have offline events or meetups? How does informal team bonding work?

Yes, we do have offline meetups. I can only speak for Delhi/NCR. We usually go to a WeWork once a month and then for drinks afterwards. Every employee is given a monthly synergy budget which can be used for such meetups. You can't encash it. Apart from small monthly meetups, we have departmental offsites too.

What additional policies help you transition into a remote workspace?

A home office allowance, transparent open communication, No work-related DM business, Flexibility and ofcourse unlimited PTO.

Candidate experience and onboarding

Simran from Delhi who was switching jobs told us “Every day I hear a friend or a colleague rant about how exhausting and overwhelming hiring processes are, how the assignments are unpaid but require 6-8 hours, and how the recruiters ghost after rounds of interviews or companies refuse to answer basic questions about the work.”

This is not new, 70% of the people we talked to had the same experiences.

Companies must actively work to strike a balance between appearing as an appealing employer yet having the flexibility to decline candidates without negatively impacting their and the candidate’s brand. This can happen when you are constantly talking about your expectations and working around a feedback loop.

Read more here.

What we're pondering upon -

Do you work in HR, and are open to having a chat? Email or DM @janwhyy on Twitter. For completely confidential conversations, ask Janhavi for her number.