warm-chair attrition
(warm-chair uh.TRISH.un) n. The loss of workplace productivity due to employees who dislike their jobs and are just waiting for the right time to quit and move on to something better.

Example Citations:
Surveys indicate that more than a third of American workers have already mentally checked out of their current jobs, waiting to pounce on the next opportunity, he said. "We call it warm-chair attrition, and a lot of employers are going to get caught short by it."
—Cheryl Hall, "Workplace forecaster predicts skilled-worker drought," The Dallas Morning News, October 3, 2003

''Most employees are corporate cocooning,'' said Joyce L. Gioia, president of the Herman Group, a consulting firm in Greensboro, N.C. ''They don't like their jobs, they don't like their co-workers, they don't like their bosses, but they're scared. When the economy heats up-and we know that it will-and more jobs are created around the country, these same employees are going to spread their wings and fly away. Right now, we have an epidemic of what we call 'warm-chair attrition,''' she said. ''Physically, they're still warming the chairs, but mentally and emotionally, they're history.''
—Judy Greenwald, "Few companies preparing for impending labor shortage," Business Insurance, October 27, 2003

Earliest Citation:
HERMAN: You would think so, but there's another factor going on here. A lot of today's employees are looking at self-control over their own career destiny. And they're realizing that we do have a slow economy now, but things will be picking up. And that it will get better. And they'll be able to make the jump. One of the things that we have seen in our research is something we described as warm chair attrition.
—Jerry Nachman, Roger Herman, "NACHMAN: The American Worker," MSNBC, September 2, 2002

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