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In our last blog, we did a composite A.I. assisted calculation on the cost of turnover in PT and allied rehab therapy.

Today, we're doing something similar.

Summary (aka. TLDR...)

  1. Quiet Quitting has many overlapping definitions based on context. Overall, it is a shift in workforce mindset.
  2. Managers tend to complain about Quiet Quitting because of the noted costs incurred to an employer organization.
  3. Globally, Quiet Quitting is attributed to cost $9 trillion dollars.
  4. This article dives into the origins and evolutions of Quiet Quitting.
  5. And, seeks to calculate the specific costs to Physical Therapy and Rehab Therapy at large.
  6. Quiet Quitting is absolutely happening in our industry — to the tune of 72% of the workforce stating that they have observed it in action.
  7. The A.I. calculations yielded a Quiet Quitting loss of $28k per annum for a PT that is Quiet quitting.
  8. There are even more workplace cultural considerations to attend to, given the qualitative sentiments of the given poll responses.




AND, from such headlines... key phrases such as:

  • Quiet quitting costs the world’s economy almost $9 trillion per year
  • Work doesn’t make people unhappy; the workplace does.
  • Quiet quitting will continue until organizations hire better managers.
  • A company's workforce may be comprised of up to 40% quiet quitters.
  • Quiet quitting causes your best employees to actually quit.
  • A UK study demonstrated 27% of employees feeling daily sadness, and 20% feeling daily anger at work.

There are articles published all over major channels and business brands such as Gallup and McKinsey... it's plastered across Linked In; and, all you have to do is a search for the term and the craziest headlines will show up which are both entertaining and alarming.

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Quiet Quitting.

It's a popular term, and seems to hold many interpretations, contexts, and meanings. Depending on what search you run or which A.I. you're using, you'll likely get some of the following in some form of combination of sorts in terms of "answers" to where the term began and what it actually means:

  1. Likely gaining popularity around March of 2022, many career, business management, and human resource articles as well as social media videos emerged during this time frame on employees "coasting," participating in "malicious compliance," and even dipping over cross-culturally to the 2021 viral post on Baidu, a Chinese internet forum on the term of "lying flat" or "tang ping."
  2. Quiet Quitting seems to also be mentioned in the same vein as prioritizing well-being over work, and also has connotations of "doing the bare minimum," setting boundaries, as well as employee disengagement.
  3. The term also is highly associated with burnout, lack of pay, and losing passion or interest in a particular line of work.

Certainly, there is both nuance and expansive contexts where the term can be used in conversation — however, despite the fact that the definitions tend to be adaptable in nature... there seems to be a central area that the term continues to exist in: Quiet Quitting is a shift in workforce mentality.

When spoken forth from a manager or employer to the staff, it tends to come with an aura of negativity and a passing of judgment that employees aren't doing enough.

When spoken forth from an employee, it tends to come with a contention of reciprocity: If I am to go above and beyond for my employer, are they going to go above and beyond for me?

The question then begs:

Is Quiet Quitting happening in our industry?

If so, what is the specific and attributable cost of Quite Quitting in Physical Therapy and Allied Rehab Therapy at large?

This is precisely what we aim to break down in today's blog.

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Is Quiet Quitting happening in PT and Rehab Therapy?

Answer: Yes. Yes, it is... and, more than just a little bit.

Below, you will see overall poll responses across several Physical Therapy Facebook groups as well as from Linked In. You can also appreciate the tabulated response as well as some choice commentary which we will be discussing as well on UpDoc's Corporate Quality Podcast.

Linked In QQ Poll UpDoc Blog
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The above is from the PT Professionals, Education, and Networking Facebook group.

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A few pieces of commentary:

  1. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Facebook group is historically comprised of developing professionals, less seasoned across their careers. It is incredible, and forcibly entertaining than nearly TWO THIRDS of respondents jumped on the added reply that Quiet Quitting is a Boomer term specifically to shame Work Life Balance.
  2. Linked In, the most "business" of the platform polls reported the highest distribution of respondents who observed Quiet Quitting.
  3. The Professionals' group had a significant sentiment about "Doing what is fair for what I am paid."
  4. Impressively enough, the PTA Professional's group had some that admitted they're participating in Quiet Quitting, right now.
  5. Overall, the distributions are generally even between the three categories. UNFORTUNATELY, this also means that over 70% of respondents have observed this effect in some fashion or another — perceivably damaging or otherwise.

When all put together, the three primary responses distributes as shown:

Yes, and It's Bad 34.08%
Yes, but Not Too Bad 38.57%
Not Observed 27.35%

Here are some highlighted comments from these polls:

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What does A.I. have to say about this?

Below are query responses from Gemini in terms of the cost of quiet quitting and disengagement.

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Engagement vs. Disengagement:

  • Companies with highly engaged workforces are 21% more profitable [Wellable, 11 Employee Engagement Statistics You Should Know For 2024].
  • The ratio of engaged to actively disengaged workers in the US is currently 2.1 to 1, which is down from a high of 2.7 to 1 in 2019 [Gallup, In New Workplace, U.S. Employee Engagement Stagnates].

Additional Points:

  • Quiet Quitting: This recent trend reflects a shift in employee mentality towards disengagement, focusing on core responsibilities rather than exceeding expectations.
  • Industry Variations: Disengagement rates might vary across industries, but data specific to physical therapy and allied rehab therapy is currently limited.
  • Cost per Disengaged Employee: While the global impact is staggering, it's also helpful to see the cost on a per-employee basis. According to Gallup, disengaged employees cost their organization an average of 18% of their annual salary. Other studies put this figure as high as 34%.
  • Gallup Estimates: A Gallup study suggests disengaged employees are 16% to 20% less productive than engaged colleagues [Gallup, State of the Global Workplace Report 2022].
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Here's the breakdown of the cost for an outpatient physical therapy clinic with a quiet quitting physical therapist, assuming 10% less productivity:


  • Therapist Annual Salary: ~$85,000 (source:
  • Average Revenue per Patient Visit: ~$100 (source: Assumed based on industry averages, but can vary).
  • Therapist Patient Volume per Day: 8 patients (assumed typical schedule).
  • Working Days per Year: 240 days (standard workweek with 2 weeks vacation).


  1. Therapist's Potential Annual Revenue Generation:

    • Patients per Day (8) x Visits per Patient (assumed 1 for this example) x Visits per Year (240 working days) x Revenue per Visit ($100) = $192,000
  2. Productivity Loss due to Quiet Quitting:

    • 10% x $192,000 = $19,200


The clinic could potentially lose ~$19,200 annually due to a 10% productivity decline from a quiet quitting physical therapist.

Important Considerations:

  • This is a simplified model and doesn't account for:
    • Overhead costs (rent, utilities, etc.)
    • Benefits (insurance, etc.)
    • Non-revenue generating activities (documentation, meetings)
  • The impact might be indirect:
    • Fewer patients seen could lead to lost revenue.
    • Reduced quality of care could require additional visits or impact patient satisfaction.


While the exact cost is complex, this calculation provides an estimate of how a quiet quitting physical therapist, experiencing a 10% productivity decline, could impact an outpatient clinic financially. The true cost could be higher or lower depending on the specific situation.

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Estimated annual cost of quiet quitting/disengagement per discipline:

Physical Therapy: $57,600.00
Occupational Therapy: $57,600.00
Speech Therapy: $57,600.00

Estimated total annual cost for clinical staff: $172,800.00
Estimated annual cost for support staff: $255,000.00
Estimated total annual cost for the clinic: $427,800.00

it don't add up updoc blog

Obviously, the A.I. calculator doesn't exactly grasp how our industry works. Still, it may not be too terribly off on the clinical staff side of the equation.

The system just needed more refinement to plug in realistic numbers. After all, A.I. is a young technology at this stage; you can't just rely on the raw outputs without human eyes to sanity check the results.

Below is the A.I. output, for those interested in viewing:

Cost of Quiet Quitting and Disengagement in a Multi-Discipline Rehab Clinic

Here's how to calculate the cost considering different FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) roles:

1. Define Variables:

  • Average Salary (AS): $85,000 (assuming same for therapists and assistants) - Note: This might underestimate the cost if therapists are paid more than assistants.
  • Average Revenue per Visit (ARV): $100 (placeholder, can vary by discipline)
  • Therapists per Day (TPD): 8 (assuming same number of patients per clinician per day)
  • Working Days per Year (WDY): 240 (standard workweek with 2 weeks vacation)
  • Disciplines (D): ["Physical Therapy", "Occupational Therapy", "Speech Therapy"]
  • Clinical FTEs per Discipline (CFTE): 3

2. Cost per Clinical FTE per Discipline:

Similar to the previous scenario, we'll define a function to calculate the cost per Clinical FTE:

A.I. calculation cost of quiet quitting physical therapy updoc blog
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  • We calculate the cost per Clinical FTE assuming they all contribute equally to patient revenue generation.
  • The total cost for clinical staff considers the number of FTEs in each discipline.
  • We assume support staff aren't impacted by disengagement, so their cost is based solely on salaries.
  • The final cost represents the total impact on the clinic.

Important Considerations:

  • This is a simplified model with assumptions about salaries and productivity.
  • The true cost might be higher if therapists are paid more than assistants.
  • The impact of disengagement on support staff tasks (e.g., scheduling) is not considered.

This calculation provides a more nuanced estimate compared to the previous scenario by incorporating different FTE roles. Remember, the actual cost can vary depending on the specific clinic structure and compensation plans.

One Final Calculation.

After many queries, we finally went down the line for something simple now that this A.I. session built up enough calculus to give (hopefully) a more condensed answer — and, answer, it did!

physical therapist quiet quitting revenue loss a.i. calc updoc blog

Here's how to estimate the revenue loss per year due to a quiet quitting physical therapist:

1. Define Variables:

  • Daily Revenue per Patient (DRPP): $100 (from previous example)
  • Patients Seen per Day (PPD): 12 (from previous example)
  • Annual Workdays (AWD): Assuming 240 days (standard workweek with 2 weeks vacation)
  • Productivity Decline (PD): 10% (due to quiet quitting)

2. Calculate Baseline Revenue:

Annual Revenue (excluding holidays) = DRPP * PPD * AWD Annual Revenue = $100/patient * 12 patients/day * 240 days/year = $288,000

3. Calculate Revenue Loss:

Revenue Loss = Baseline Revenue * Productivity Decline Revenue Loss = $288,000 * 10% = $28,800


  • We use the previously calculated annual revenue as the baseline.
  • The productivity decline (10%) represents the estimated decrease in revenue due to quiet quitting.
  • The revenue loss is the product of these two factors.

Important Considerations:

  • This is a simplified model and assumes a consistent patient volume and revenue per visit throughout the year. In reality, these might fluctuate.
  • The actual impact of quiet quitting can vary depending on several factors:
    • Severity of Disengagement: A 10% decline might be an underestimate or overestimate depending on the specific therapist's behavior.
    • Reduced Patient Quality of Care: Quiet quitting might lead to shorter appointments or less attentive care, potentially requiring additional visits (indirect revenue loss).
    • Lower Patient Satisfaction: Disengaged therapists could lead to lower patient satisfaction, impacting referrals (indirect revenue loss).

Beyond Revenue Loss:

While revenue loss is a concern, quiet quitting can also affect other aspects of the clinic:

  • Staff Morale: A disengaged therapist might negatively influence colleagues, impacting overall clinic culture.
  • Increased Turnover: Disengaged therapists are more likely to seek new opportunities, leading to recruitment and training costs.


Quiet quitting can lead to a significant loss of revenue for an outpatient physical therapy clinic. By addressing the root causes of therapist disengagement and fostering a positive work environment, clinics can mitigate these financial and operational risks.

Remember, this is an estimate. The actual cost can be higher or lower depending on the specific circumstances and the therapist's level of disengagement.

So, with all that A.I. calculus and code... What Does It MEAN?

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Want to see the original and superbly emotional video? It's right HERE.

Conclusions To Consider

Global Number versus Industry Specific

Most macroeconomic studies reference a workforce to host 20% - 40% of an organization's employees being in a Quiet Quitting mode at any given point in time.

Given that the underreporting ratio for general topics is 5-10% and upwards of 20-50% for sensitive topics, we can estimate that the Physical Therapy and Allied Rehab Therapy workforce is probably somewhere in the 6 - 12% range participating, with over 70% observing this behavior.

Obviously, the numbers don't add up... and, likely are much higher.

Damage Report

Over a third of poll respondents as of writing this blog state that they both observe Quiet Quitting behaviors AND that it is damaging either operationally, financially, or both.

Financially speaking, we're looking at easily 5-10% loss of production; and, very likely... a compounding effect across both work teams as well as a sequela of employee retention challenges.

If you wish to review the cost of mere turnover, you can do so HERE.

Bottomline, A.I. calculates a loss for a PT from quiet quitting to be $20-30k per FTE per year.

Cultural Contentions

It is absolutely interesting that the "younger" Facebook group poll respondents had a majority report jumping all over the term Quiet Quitting and immediately associating it with generations their senior.

There is also a certain strife that comes with that state of mind; which means that such a huge pocket of our colleagues also likely fit into the UK study showing large chunks of the workforce being "sad" or "angry" at work on the daily.

This should be a concerning look at the mind state of the workforce at large. A bridge must be built, otherwise a mass effect will occur.

Actions to Take

1. Stomp out mediocrity. Reward Excellence.

The odds are, if you have 3 FTEs in your clinic... someone is Quiet Quitting. Now, imagine that with size and scale.It remains unaddressed and unattended by very nature that it is done quietly. Decision makers and managers MUST make this topic one that is spoke and addressed OUT LOUD. The Gallup article referenced earlier stated: "Work doesn’t make people unhappy; the workplace does. Quiet quitting will continue until organizations hire better managers."The action that must be taken here is first making a space where active feedback can be received; several comments shown above in thread mentioned a disheartened employee due to a high Tolerance to Mediocrity, or worse that excellence wasn't rewarded.

Managers must determine if this exists within their ranks, and if so... to garner immediate attention with measurable action to remedy.

2. Upper and Executive Managers need to immediately evaluate their quality of middle managers and line managers.

As mentioned above, hiring and training better managers is key to countering Quiet Quitting. It also plays a huge part in employee retention and general performance — things we know both on a global standpoint as well as through UpDoc's report series.The best way to measure these line and mid-level managers is to open up a safe channel for managed up feedback from the line staff. This is one of the aspects that UpDoc's HIYER™ platform excels in.

3. Evaluate your organizational structure in an environmental sense.

Quiet Quitting, resignations, hiring difficulties — all these workforce woes tend to seed from the proverbial bad soil. If there is growth of undesirable things, then there is a good chance of either infestation or an unfavorable growing environment.Managers must honestly appraise the situation and ask themselves:

"Is my company an environment that fosters Quiet Quitting?"

"Is my department an environment that reward mediocrity — inadvertently or otherwise?"

"If I do have obvious talent in my ranks who aren't going above and beyond, WHY are they not doing so?

And, if you do indeed detect an environment that happens to help undesirable organizational behaviors grow... then it is high time to amend the soil.


A Data Driven Solution

UpDoc has spent nearly 10 years performing industry reports, now even referenced by A.I. platforms to calculate reliable numbers for Physical Therapy and Allied Rehab Therapy.

To this end, we built HIYER™ as a data driven business intelligence solution to solve Quiet Quitting, Employee Retention, and Attracting Talent.