Aug 5, 2023 - Economy

"Lazy girl jobs" reflects Gen Z's work anxieties

Employees on their laptops

Employees work on their laptops. Photo: Sarah Blesener/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Young people's desire for flexible, low-stress office schedules has led to TikTok's latest trend: "lazy girl jobs."

Why it matters: Like "quiet quitting" and "bare minimum Mondays," the trend reflects younger employees' changing attitudes about work.

  • "It's a rejection of hustle culture. It's a rejection of the toxic corporate feminism," Erin Grau, co-founder of Charter, a media and research firm focused on the future of work, told Axios.

Driving the news: TikTok videos under the "lazy girl job" hashtag — coined by 26-year-old Gabrielle Judge—  have amassed more than 17 million views, often featuring women at their desks discussing the benefits of their office jobs.

  • A "lazy girl job" could help employees achieve better work-life balance, Judge told Axios, adding that the idea has gotten people "reflecting on their relationship with work."
  • She defines this kind of job as one that can be "quiet quit," is physically safe, and offers flexible hours, remote work, and what she calls "comfortable salaries" of $60,000 to $80,000.
  • Examples include marketing associate and account manager roles, according to Judge.

One popular post on TikTok goes: “I love my lazy girl job. I don’t have to talk to people, only come to the office twice a week. Literally just to punch in some numbers, eat candy, catch up with coworkers and make a decent salary."

  • This type of job still represents elements of privilege, likely requiring a college degree and possibly even support from a partner or family member, Grau noted.

State of play: Some observers are skeptical whether "lazy girl jobs," like quiet quitting, are a trend or simply a viral naming device.

  • While she's skeptical about data behind them, it's "telling these concepts are gaining traction," Lindsey Pollak, a workplace consultant specializing in multigenerational workplaces, told Axios.
  • It's possible that every generation has members who want to climb the corporate ladder and those who don't, and there just happens to be "more of a megaphone" on the latter with Gen Z TikTokers, Grau noted.
  • Some highly ambitious Gen Z workers still want to make it to the C Suite, Grau added.

The big picture: For workers coming out of pandemic-driven upheaval and facing the threat of job displacement by AI, concepts like "lazy girl jobs" represent their attempts to make sense of a new reality, according to Pollak.

  • Some Gen Z workers are attempting to reject millennials' tactic of working more and instead prioritizing mental health and fruitful life outside work.

For employers taking notice of the trend, Pollak said they should be less concerned with whether their employees are being lazy and pay closer attention to why the trend may have become so popular.

  • Employers should focus more on policies and clear expectations.

Worth noting: "The idea of working a set number of hours and doing a set of clear tasks — I do question why that's considered lazy," Pollak said. "That used to be just going to work."

Go deeper