- Gen Zers are reinventing the place of work in their lives, rather than the other way around.
- Some of their older colleagues wish they could do the same.
- Gen Zers say they want everyone to seek the same balance and fulfillment.
Kimi Kaneshina, 24, has a full-time job: her life.
She also works 9 to 5 in marketing. But in a March TikTok with more than 50,000 likes, she said she “considers my full-time job as my part-time job and my life as my full-time job.”
Kaneshina told Insider that she was struggling with burnout when she heard about this TikTok trend from a friend. She saw people quitting left and right and decided to change her mind – and posted about it. More than 300,000 people have seen his video.
Gen Zers, who are currently under 26, are expected to make up around 27% of the workforce by 2025. They are paving the way for the Great Resignation because they are disillusioned with the old world of work . They think the job doesn’t necessarily have to be in the 9 to 5 structure; it can be done in the time needed, leaving plenty of room for life.
Other generations watch Gen Z shut down their laptops, move overseas to work remotely, and treat their personal life like their full-time job — and they’re jealous.
Older generations had to adhere to ‘pretty unhealthy ways of working’
Seven years ago, 49-year-old Gen Xer Sara Stewart quit office jobs in New York City to work remotely as a freelance writer. She said she had always been “annoyed” with having a desk job and felt that her generation, aged around 42 to 57, as well as Millennials, aged 26 to 41, had to adhere to “some rather unhealthy working methods”.
She said she thought it was ‘ridiculous’ that the structure of the office didn’t have more to benefit employees’ mental health and that she felt she would shy away from her duties if she slipped away for an hour during the day to go to the Gym.
“What I wanted to do was explore a healthier work-life structure,” she said.
But she said she didn’t see any “concrete pushback” on work boundaries until she started reading articles about how Gen Zers were slowing down, taking mental health days and delegating. to their bosses. Stewart admired Gen Z’s work ethic so much that she wrote an opinion piece for CNN explaining why she was jealous of it.
She said she heard people her age and older say they thought it was a positive development and wished they had spoken out more against traditional work expectations.
One such worker is Cayne Letizia, 45, a self-proclaimed “jealous gen Xer.”
“A big part of my generation’s expectation was that you go to school, go to college, start a family — it was just certain milestones or boxes that you had to check,” he said.
But he’s noticed something different about the students he’s taught in recent years as a middle school English teacher. When they graduate from college, they travel more or look for jobs that match their interests.
Looking on the sidelines, he wished he could have done more when he was their age. “But I see them doing it and I just want to support it,” he said.
Of course, much of this debate takes place in a certain type of work, usually among so-called white-collar knowledge workers who don’t need much more than a computer to get their workday done. But low-wage workers are also organizing protests – over the past year they have quit at near-record rates and pushed back on labor standards. This has led to staff shortages for some companies.
But as Insider’s Áine Cain reported, some of those shortages could be alleviated by offering blue-collar workers the same benefits as their white-collar colleagues — benefits like student loan repayments and mental health support that , according to Generation Zers, are key to earning their loyalty.
Not all responses were positive
In a TikTok with more than 50,000 likes, Avery Monday, 21, stands in front of a palm tree. Text on screen reads: “When baby boomers get mad because I can work from heaven, I have unlimited PTO, my boss doesn’t micromanage me, they prioritize our mental health, our leadership really cares about us, I work from home, and they pay for our Spotify/gym.”
“I graduated and entered the job market with the idea, for example, that I will grind forever until I die,” a man said on Monday.
director, Insider said. “Then through work, my colleagues, my bosses, I realized that it didn’t, and it didn’t have to be that way.”
As her TikTok went satirical on Monday, she faced criticism from Gen Xers and baby boomers. She has heard the word “lazy” a lot.
This might sound familiar to millennials, who tentatively began to demand more from work during the height of Silicon Valley’s cult of prodigies and prodigies. They were mocked and blamed for their own economic ruin.
“Millennials have a bad reputation, I think,” Letizia said. “It was always, like, ‘Oh, those millennials!'” He said the conversation evolved with Gen Zers, who “really take a stand.”
Stewart, for example, said she had a thread with some of her friends where “we complain good-naturedly about Gen Z kids” and the freedom and flexibility they have.
“While we were talking about things maybe under our breath or between us, or maybe over drinks after work or whatever, they bring it into the workplace,” Stewart said.
On Monday, older workers can also participate.
“As a society, especially in America, we’ve gotten so used to work being your life. You work all day, eat and go to bed, and then you start again, five days a week,” Monday said. said.
She said she wants more people of all ages to step back and realize that’s not how most people do it – and it might not bring them the most joy.
“Older generations, if they could figure that out, they could be a lot more fulfilled and be able to have hobbies and do different things,” Monday said. “I hope that one day they will also participate in this and benefit from it, because every generation deserves a good work-life balance.”