Ladies talking excitedly about their ‘lazy girl jobs’ on TikTok videos are being viewed by millions. This recent trend draws attention to the importance of maintaining a work-life balance rather than being consumed by a job that exhausts one completely. The message is clear, “This job will surely pay you well, but most importantly, it will lead you to a comfortable life, without requiring you to make it the sole source of your self-esteem or demanding excessive time and energy from you.” That sounds at once pleasing and easy, doesn’t it?
In simple words, ‘lazy girl job’ means trying to get an easy-going job which pays more. The phenomenon is seen as a response to the hustle culture prevailing in today’s corporate world and looks very much relevant to many leaders, especially in the current scenario.
This clearly appears to be emerging as a reality for the times ahead. “I see a distinct shift in the attitude of the younger generation entering the workforce. They prefer a more relaxed approach to work. It’s about adopting a more contract-based and project-oriented approach rather than a deeply- integrated commitment to a larger organisational structure,” observes Shailesh Singh, CHRO, Max Life Insurance. He believes that people seem to be gravitating towards a plug-and-play model, where they can detach as and when needed.
“I see a distinct shift in the attitude of the younger generation entering the workforce. They prefer a more relaxed approach to work. It’s about adopting a more contract-based and project-oriented approach rather than a deeply- integrated commitment to a larger organisational structure.”
Shailesh Singh, CHRO, Max Life Insurance
Moreover, this flexibility is becoming essential, as it allows individuals to strike a balance between their personal and family priorities, while still making intense contributions when required.
The trend reflects a significant cultural shift in how people approach work and life in general. “Achieving equilibrium, be it within an organisation, at home, or within a college setting, contributes to a healthier culture. Striking the right balance between income-generating activities and those that stimulate personal growth is crucial,” points out Ravi Kumar, CPO, Page Industries.
Engaging in activities that stimulate the mind, such as playing board games or reading, can spark creativity. Simultaneously, carrying out transactional tasks that sustain us through the day while allowing time for personal endeavours contributes to a well-rounded approach.
In essence, it’s about aligning with the changing realities of the corporate world and the way one perceives and prioritises work in the current landscape, especially after COVID. “I perceive this trend as a clear evolution, and I believe it’s here to stay. It’s not just a passing phase but a reality that is firmly taking root,” asserts Singh.
Is this cultural shift easy to accept and relevant to the workplace?
Suchismita Burman, senior HR leader, has an interesting take. She says, “The term ‘lazy girl job’ does not appear to be embracing diversity and inclusion. In fact, it can potentially exacerbate divisions and reinforce stereotypes. It may even result in a more polarised environment.”
She believes that this linguistic choice presents a somewhat stereotypical viewpoint, and is more exclusionary rather than inclusive. This portrayal is unlikely to foster inclusivity within an organisation.
“The term ‘lazy girl job’ does not appear to be embracing diversity and inclusion. In fact, it can potentially exacerbate divisions and reinforce stereotypes. It may even result in a more polarised environment.”
Suchismita Burman, senior HR leade
Moreover, the concept of re-evaluating work and its relationship with other aspects of life has been ongoing. Hence, coining another term for it doesn’t seem that relevant.
“It’s not about having the right work-life balance, but how well one integrates oneself within the organisational culture,” feels Burman. From his perspective, he says, “Apart from perhaps generating new discussions around the topic by coining this phrase, I’m uncertain about the additional impact this terminology may have.”
Role-specific demands and organisational structures play a pivotal role in determining the extent of concern related to this trend. “Certain roles or sectors, such as factory work in specific time-bound settings, require physical presence due to the nature of the tasks. Role differentiation is key. Some roles are clearly focused on customer interactions or specific processes, which should be balanced with personal downtime at appropriate intervals,” asserts Kumar.
For instance, in a retail store scenario, when a customer enters, attending to them is crucial for a salesperson.They can’t take breaks in such situations and ask for some time off. However, there are intervals when customer interactions are minimal, creating opportunities for personal activities.
“Achieving equilibrium, be it within an organisation, at home, or within a college setting, contributes to a healthier culture. Striking the right balance between income-generating activities and those that stimulate personal growth is crucial.”
Ravi Kumar, CPO, Page Industries
Moreover, organisations that gauge productivity primarily through time spent and physical presence may indeed find this trend worrisome.
It will also present a challenge for organisations in shaping their traditional work models. “While there will be segments within the organisation that maintain continuity and stability, a growing portion of the workforce will engage in piecemeal assignments, adopting a plug-and-play approach,” believes Singh.
Therefore, organisations will need to navigate a delicate equilibrium and accommodate these changing dynamics by identifying their own suitable approaches to handle this changing economic landscape.
Giving an example, Singh explains that newer organisations, especially those in the digital realm, will need to adapt swiftly due to the millennial workforce’s demands for such flexible setups. This trend may be more pronounced in these settings, as the younger generation tends to seek such arrangements. In contrast, larger, more established organisations may have the luxury of time, given their existing workforce and setup. However, emerging and newer entities will likely need to respond promptly and embrace these changes to remain competitive.
Additionally, organisations supporting the phenomena would have to follow a balanced approach.
“The key to effectiveness in organisations lies in consistently aligning — from top leadership down to shared perspectives on contribution and work. The shared understanding of the value of work is a crucial missing link. Defining the value and impact of one’s contribution is vital,” advises Burman.
Additionally, it’s important for the companies to minimise distractions and establish boundaries (to prevent stress or burnout). For instance, amid the pandemic, organisations adopted different strategies to manage workloads, such as setting meeting restrictions post 7:00 p.m. Such boundaries foster a psychologically-safe environment.
In a similar point of view, Kumar opines, “Personal definitions of balance are also crucial. Organisations should strive to offer flexibility and freedom, while still maintaining a level of productivity.”
As work demands grow, ensuring psychological safety becomes crucial. Hence, organisations must influence culture through processes, communication and leadership behaviour.
Burman right points out, “Accountability is pivotal too. Organisational structures can inadvertently permit redundancies. Establishing a culture of accountability, encompassing processes, policies and practices, is essential to thwart inefficiencies. The population demographics —such as Gen Z and Millennials — exhibit clear expectations. However, coining terms such as these can become excuses not to excel. Such terminology may promote counterproductive behaviours, hindering growth and commitment.”