How Lazy Girl Jobs are Rewriting Workplace Rules
This week I was featured in Grazia UK magazine giving my thoughts and opinions on the recent workplace trend of “Lazy Girl Jobs”. The journalist wanted to get my input on what I was experiencing from my work in culture, and if the trend would begin to influence how businesses shape their workplace culture.
If you haven’t come across the term “Lazy Girl Jobs”, let me give you a brief introduction to this new expression that’s taken social media by storm.
“Lazy Girl Jobs” first emerged on TikTok as an expression by women who were ditching 9-5 jobs, and instead choosing roles that offer flexible and remote opportunities.
As Grazia’s journalist Alaina Demopoulos puts it;
“For some Gen Zers, it’s the ultimate: a high paying, remote gig with flexible hours, laissez-faire bosses, and plenty of break time.”
But “Lazy Girl Jobs” isn’t about being lazy – despite the huge amount of backlash this trend has been receiving.
Some of the critical comments about “Lazy Girl Jobs”
“Gen Z should be paying their dues”
“No-one wants to work anymore”
“I worry for the future”
“Lazy Girl Jobs” - it isn’t about lazy
On the surface, this trend may appear to be a celebration of underachievement or an ode to minimal effort by a younger, more ‘entitled’, generation (that’s how many are perceiving this). But I want to make something clear; “Lazy Girl Jobs” isn’t about endorsing any kind of laziness, or even lack of motivation to work. It’s about healthy boundaries, and how a younger generation who have seen the detrimental impacts of poor work-life balance, are now deciding to choose something different for themselves.
Amongst Gen Z dominantly, there is a growing inclination towards less conventional working environments. This presents us with an opportunity to re-examine what we consider to be ‘productive’ and what work looks like and feels like in the future.
Gen Z still wants a career. They still want advancement. But not at the expense of balance.
“Lazy Girl Jobs” might be the buzzword for this season. But not long ago we were seeing the same ‘screw hard work attitude’ with “quiet quitting”.
All these trends are a strong social indication that regardless of generation, work has become a place of unrealistic expectations and unhealthy boundaries.
Even if you don’t agree with these trends, it encourages us to look beyond how we’ve worked for so long, and instead think about creating a workplace that is more in tune with people’s needs, and the modern world we live in.
A major workplace shift
Previous generations saw success as a stable job, with a regular income. The aspiration was to stay in the same job for as long as possible and do your best to climb the ladder. The belief being that the company would look after you, and you would end up with a healthy retirement pot.
But the safety and predictability of work no longer exists. And younger generations have seen their parents, and even grandparents work themselves into the ground for a ‘golden’ retirement that in some cases never appeared.
People now want more from work. And it’s not just Gen Z who are leading the charge. People are seeking work-life balance, autonomy, and meaning in their work. While the latest buzzword might be “Lazy Girl Jobs” – the reality is, this desire for shifting how we work is coming from all generations. Without a doubt we will see another trend emerge well before we hit Christmas.
“Lazy Girl Jobs” is another way of shining a light on an already broken workplace landscape. It’s challenging traditional workplace norms, including antiquated hierarchical structures, rigid schedules, and toxic presenteeism mentality.
The point is, many trends have the same underlying message. Work as we know it, isn’t working for most people, and it needs to change.
The ‘conscious’ biases towards women
Is the “Lazy Girl Jobs” a sexist trend? – Well of course it is, it presumes that only women are seeking greater flexibility. When in reality, there are many people out there desperate to find a way to balance work and the demands of modern life. This isn’t a trend that is just limited to the ladies!
However, one thing is certain. We can’t deny that the prominence of women included in this trend is for good reason. It might be well over a hundred years since we fought for equal rights in the workplace, but women are still treated like second-class citizens at work. The bias isn’t even unconscious – it’s very conscious. From the companies who don’t hire newly married women for fear they’ll get pregnant, to being overlooked for promotions because they didn’t speak up enough in meetings. I know plenty of women who have the battle scars from inequality in the workplace.
And let’s not forget that adage. We expect women to work like they don’t have children and have children like they don’t work.
Ultimately, it is women who are facing the biggest challenges at work, so it’s no surprise that more of them are taking boundaries into their own hands and drawing the line.
What can companies learn from the “Lazy Girl Jobs” trend?
By all means you can dismiss “Lazy Girl Jobs” as yet another workplace buzzword, but the surge in trends shows a dramatic shift in our collective approach to work – and this shouldn’t be ignored. Even more so if you expect to recruit any of this younger Gen Z talent anytime soon.
I’ve listed below the core areas and shifts in the “Lazy Girl” mindset that link to workplace culture. And revealed where you should be putting your focus if you don’t want to come across as a company from the dark ages.
Results over hours
The old way of working is input driven. Bums on seats for a set amount of time is how many companies still operate. Despite the fact this has been proven to not improve productivity or engagement.
Instead, the “Lazy Girl Jobs” trend advocates for results-driven culture. For them it’s not about how many hours, but what was achieved.
Rather than putting a focus on presence in the office, companies should strive for a flexible arrangement that enables people to get the work done in the best way they feel it needs to be done.
People are adults. So, treat them like it.
A flexible workplace thrives when people are aligned and have clear goals.
Work is not a separate part of life; it is part of life. At the very heart of the “Lazy Girl Jobs” is the fact that people are not getting the balance they need. And too often companies insist that dedication is personal sacrifice. Giving up their evenings to work. Giving up their lunchbreak. Working while on holiday. The list goes on.
Having rigid rules and policies in place is where companies can trip themselves up when it comes to boundaries. Why? – because people will spend more time and effort trying to think of ways to get around the ridiculous rules being imposed on them. Especially if they feel that these rules are impacting their work or are unrealistic.
To create boundaries that work for everyone, you must co-create them with people. Not enforce them like a policing system.
Trust and autonomy
One element that really hasn’t been discussed much around the “Lazy Girl Jobs” mindset is that deep desire to have autonomy over their work.
Like I said earlier. These women aren’t quitting work or not willing to work; they want work where they have the autonomy to work how and when they want – like adults!
Many workplace cultures don’t trust people to have this high level of autonomy. But without autonomy people feel disconnected from their work and disengaged from their place of work.
If I had the choice, I know which person I would prefer to work with, the “Lazy Girl” over the “Office Robot” filling the time but not doing the work. Present but not active.
When we trust people to manage their time, we create a greater sense of ownership and responsibility. This doesn’t work for everyone; but the “Lazy Girl Jobs” trend shows that more people are choosing this way of working for themselves.
Should we take “Lazy Girl Jobs” seriously?
After reading my proposed argument for not ignoring this trend, you might feel dismissive and sense that there will no doubt be another trend you’ll have to keep up with.
It’s true. Sometimes the lingo really doesn’t help the case for changing work.
But regardless of the buzzwords there is a resounding theme which I’ve endeavored to hit home; work needs to change.
If it’s not this trend, when will you take the next steps to improve how you work? When the pains too great? When another global disaster strikes?
Even trying the smallest experiment now will take you one step closer to a better tomorrow.
What are you waiting for?