18 People Talk Through Their Feelings On The Anti-Work Movement

For the last couple hundred years, human beings have bought into the idea that, in order to live a happy life that contributes to society, you have to spend a large portion of your life working for someone who is not yourself.

Of course it’s more than an idea now, since society is built around things like money and credit and benefits, but with a global pandemic forcing many to slow down and actually look at how happy they are with the status quo.

People are starting to question whether or not this whole working for a living thing is sustainable, and a movement has started to grow suggesting that it’s definitely not – and here’s what these 18 people think about it.

18. It’s about improving conditions.

The movement is less about ending work (at least for right now,) and more about “Wow, maybe people who aren’t C-level executives and managers deserve to get treated like human beings.

I’ve worked service for 9 years now, and I’m super burnt out despite not being “qualified” to do anything but service work. The combination of just-over-poverty or poverty wages, abusive managers, abusive customers, and the way the pandemic has exacerbated these things is causing a lot of other workers to feel the same way.

It isn’t about ending work. It’s about improving conditions for the working class. The working class here referring to anyone who is not making billions of dollars in profit.

17. Life is too short.

I believe this pandemic has given people the pause they needed to rethink their life.

So many people hate their job, hate their co-workers, hate their boss, hate the commute and they realized that they can do without a lot of stuff and still be happy. And when they added it all up they said I’m done. (I know hate may be too strong a word, but that is the gist).

I see more people quitting going forward.

16. Life is too short.

I’m 35. I realized that I really hate my job, and I really just can’t do it any more. I’ve been at my “company” (not a company, I worked for a city) for 17 years, but I have to be there another 30 years to qualify to retire! 30 more years!

My mom passed away at 57. I don’t want to work a job I hate until the day I die.

My husband has been super supportive, and it turns out we can pay the bills with just his salary, and me working as a part-time dog walker.

Life is too short to not live the way you want.

15. Chances are, your company does not care about you.

Say the company goes through a rough spot and you put more hours to help.

But then next year you have a family emergency and the company goes “hey, you give us a hand when we needed it so here is an extra salary to help you cover any extra expenses plus any amount of days you need to solve your emergency.”

If that was a thing, a lot less people would be quitting

14. We just want change.

“Anti-work” isn’t actually about not working ever again. It’s more about “the current expectations that companies place on employees are often ridiculous and not worth the little they offer in return”.

13. Too many people are not being treated well.

I work in local government and whilst I was never under the impression that they “cared” for their workers, the pandemic has shown how malicious they can be as an employer.

Management “requiring” people to go into the office at points during the pandemic for no reason other than to maintain a presence in an office.

Annual leave that we were “allowed” to let pile up for an extra year, which they attempted to yank away and boil down to “a miscommunication” at the last second.

Pay freezes that have been going on for years now.

All while upper management gets huge bonuses for their “hard work during the pandemic”

12. There’s always a breaking point.

Not surprised. People have been pushed to the breaking point for a while in different ways and the pandemic was the pause that made everyone ask “what exactly is this for?”

You get off your track, spend time at home…..and you realize just how much energy your job sapped from you.

11. The rest of us don’t want “regular office dynamics.”

My sister said that her job (BBH) knows that they can do it remotely but they’re pushing for a return to the office so the superiors can FEEL superior. It’s not the same berating people not face to face.

She said she believes that is the only reason her jobs pushing for it, like they keep saying that they want to return to regular office dynamics. And they miss the daily interactions. But not for any other productivity reason.

As for her, the only black woman, she could live without the daily interactions I assure you.

10. People just want fairness.

It’s an unfair workplace treatment/conditions movement more than an “I don’t want to work at all” movement.

I’m 100% on board. Quit my last job due to the employer taking advantage of employees. $38k and 60 hours/week? lol, no, not on salary. That’s not what I signed up for.

That’s the kind of stuff the movement is about.

9. It’s just not.

I also think a lot of people realized working your butt off to grind up a rung on the ladder for 10 percent more pay and 20 percent more work isn’t worth it.

At the lower rungs of the income spectrum (minimum wage and slightly better) a promotion may mean more pay for LESS stress or less physical danger.

But at the middle class tiers, theres a point at which making more money and higher job titles start destroying your life. If going from 40 hours /week to 50 hours can increase your pay by 25%, that sounds good.

But going from 60 hours /week to 80 hours /week (or an equivalent increase in stress)… You eventually hit a point where the “promotion is just not worth it.

8. There has to be a balance.

The main reason to work is to be able to afford to live. If you have to sacrifice your life for work, then what is the point?

You can just look at the data and see wages have stagnated while productivity and cost of living as skyrocket. Cost of houses and education make life seem hopeless.

The average life expectancy is 77 while retirement is 65. If we are doing all of this for 12 years of elderly leisure then die, what’s the f**king point?

7. There is more to life.

I think it even gave people who do enjoy their job a chance to realise that there is way more to life than their work. I worked with one of those people who would stay for hours (unpaid!) after work every day before the pandemic, then after being furloughed for a few months, they slowed right down and worked only their hours and left on time every day.

Despite all the bad it’s brung, I think this pandemic really has showed people there is so, so, so much more to life than working

6. It’s been a long time coming.

I’m just surprised it hadn’t come sooner.

A lot of people are getting absolutely fucked in their place of work in every industry. Higher ups and executives are clearly prioritizing profits and personal agendas over the well being of their work force. People need to understand that they have rights in the work place and they shouldn’t be afraid to act on them.

But at the same time higher ups also need to realize that no one should have to act on them. If you honestly think that profit and quotas take precedence over the safety of your work force in the middle of a fucking tornado, you deserve to rot in whatever is lower than darkest depths hell has to offer.

5. The truth is out there.

I think lots of people in many countries also realised that even if they work 50 hours a week from now until the the day they die they’ll never be able to afford to own a home, will always be living in debt, and will be perpetually on the precipice where they’re one emergency away from ruin.

The compact between employers and labour has always been that workers give their time and toil, and in return receive security and comfort. But these last couple of decades we’ve seen people working harder and harder, with less and less stability or security.

4. So say we all.

I’m a fan of attempting to get companies to pay a wage that might actually live up to the modern world that’s for sure.

3. It’s all about perspective.

It has shown where priorities are. Business priorities. Personal priorities. We’ve realized personal priorities are worth more than what business priorities value us at.

Customer service is dying because no one wants to deal with someone throwing a hissy fit over a $15 meal while one of our crew members grandma just died the other day.

Puts things in perspective.

2. Gratitude shouldn’t play into it.

I can tell you that a lot of executives do not get it.

A number of them, I only have so many data points, still feel like people should feel grateful to have a job. Not that they should be grateful a person is investing their life in what the company does.

I deal with several CEOs and heads of HR and medium-sized companies. I have only seen one even question their existing view.

1. We’ve realized what’s important.

I’m a stay at home dad. I never thought I would be living this kind of life, but we don’t need 2 incomes.

All the money in the in the world won’t buy back time with my son if I spend these years working instead of spending time with my family.

I think there has to be a happy medium, but also that we can’t go back to the way things were in 2019 now that we’ve seen how things could be.

What about you? What are your thoughts? Are comments are open and we’re dying to hear them!