Quiet Quitting: Creating Business Impact with Freelance Scientists

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The last two years have witnessed some unprecedented disruptions to how we perceive and conduct work, with new trends such as work from home, virtual organizations and hybrid teams becoming commonplace. 

This eventually led to the emergence of the gig economy and project-based work, which saw a massive rise in a ‘Knowledge Economy’ consisting of scientists, academics and subject matter experts gravitating towards on-demand consulting work.

The great resignation was the first big change in terms of people, especially academics and scientists, drifting towards a better work-life balance, which has gradually given way to what is now being called the ‘Quiet Quit’.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting is when employees perform just enough to fulfill their responsibilities and to stay at a job. This implies that they’ve switched off mentally owing to various factors, and do not make a full-hearted effort or show immense engagement at work.

They do not strive to exceed client, company or management expectations. Quite quitters do not go above and beyond to show their willingness and concern for the work they do. It includes not showing up early, not staying late, not attending non-mandatory meetings etc. They have crafted a 9-to-5 work timetable for themselves, and will adhere to it steadfastly. 

As per research published by Employment Hero’s 2022, 53% of employees feel burnt out at work, and 52% evaluate their work-life balance as unsatisfactory. The dissatisfaction is highest among the younger workforce belonging to millennials and Gen-Z. As per a study conducted by Gallup, the percentage of actively disengaged employees increased by six points in 2019-2020. 

Further, younger employees strongly disagree that someone cares about them, that someone encourages their development, and that they have opportunities to learn and grow. Thus, employees do not see any benefit in going beyond the call of duty to perform at work. They would rather take care of themselves than care about giving more than 100% at work.

Concern for Businesses

With freelancing and remote work looking set to stay, employees seem to be reacting poorly to a return to offline work set-ups. This has been touted as a major reason for the great resignation, and is likely to be a massive cause of the quiet quit trend as well. With employees craving greater work-life balance, remote work or even full-time freelancing seems to be on a rapid rise, with quiet quitters eventually going on to officially resigning from their jobs and exploring these options.

From an organizational point of view, quiet quitting is worse than people resigning from their jobs. Organizations might find it difficult to deal with employees leaving their jobs, but to not quit outright but remain disengaged in the job is worse. 

Most job descriptions, although putting forth a general outline of work, does not cover all roles and responsibilities that an employee would have to perform from time-to-time. Since market conditions aren’t linear, it is not possible to structure a formal job description or contract. Thus, most organizations depend on employees to do the heavy lifting when additional work comes around and demand spikes.

The attitude of quiet quitters increases the burden on other colleagues as well. When the workload is shifted and added onto the pile of work of people who are willing to work, there are increased chances of them feeling burnt-out This will in turn have a ripple effect, causing reputational harm and economic risks for the organization. It won’t be able to meet the increasing demands of the market and tap into opportunistic market conditions, leading to the company losing its competitive edge in the business environment.

Cost-Effective Outsourcing with Independent Scientific Freelancers – How It Works

Ironically, the solution for companies lies in tapping into the growing ecosystem of gig and knowledge economy freelancers. A large number of scientists, industry experts and researchers are gravitating towards on-demand consulting work on freelance platforms and open-talent networks.

By turning to freelance platforms, businesses can find value for money and complete high-impact projects effectively. Companies looking for freelance medical writers, scientific writers, product consultants and other niche expertise can stand to gain several advantages,

Wide range of options – Freelance scientific platforms, such as Kolabtree, typically have a wide range of scientists signing up as independent consultants.

Companies can scout these experts and shortlist the ones that fit their needs without the hassle of geographical constraints etc, giving them a better chance of hiring highly qualified experts from all over the globe who can complete their project successfully.

The wide range of options also offers companies the benefit of having several experts lined up in case of an emergency, even amidst quiet quitting, thus guaranteeing that the project work does not face any disruptions and is completed on time. 

Minimal paperwork and contracts – Freelance scientists and industry experts are available for on-demand consulting, meaning lesser paperwork and contract hassles.

 A freelance employee has a standard contract and is hired for a specific work or project as detailed and required by the organization, and does not need to be guaranteed a minimum length of contract before embarking on the project, proving cost-effective and time-effective for organizations.

This also offers the opportunity for smaller businesses to test innovative ideas with freelance scientists, as they can be consulted and collaborated with on flexible schedules. 

Cost-effective and Confidential – With scientists and PhDs generally being expensive to hire full-time or consult through an agency, freelance industry experts offer a cost-effective alternative as they can be hired on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Freelance platforms, such as Kolabtree, also guarantee payment security and data confidentiality, enabling you to collaborate with these experts within a secure ecosystem. This includes verified profiles, customized NDAs and secure payment wallets within the platform.

The Future of Freelancing Amidst Quiet Quitting

With more scientists and academics talking about taking up freelancing projects full-time, on-demand scientific consulting might soon become the norm rather than the exception.

From testing new concepts on pay-as-you-go bases to full-fledged remote scientific consultations, we might soon see remote collaborations define the face of science, with medical writers and product consultants taking up more on-demand projects than ever before.

Working on a high-impact industry project? Get help from PhD-qualified scientists and subject matter experts. 


Kolabtree helps businesses worldwide hire experts on demand. Our freelancers have helped companies publish research papers, develop products, analyze data, and more. It only takes a minute to tell us what you need done and get quotes from experts for free.


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