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‘Lazy girl jobs’ growing in popularity with Gen Z

Workplace trends are constantly emerging, each bringing its own sentiments on workplace attitudes. The latest is the #lazygirljob that’s hit TikTok, which may be a window into the feelings of Gen Z lawyers.

user iconJack Campbell 24 July 2023 Big Law
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Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Lawyers Weekly’s sister brand, HR Leader.

"Lazy girl jobs" are those that are undemanding, require little passion, are flexible, and pay well enough. While it’s easy to say those taking advantage of this trend are lazy or unmotivated, some believe that it highlights a disillusionment with capitalism, as more and more young workers want to enjoy a life outside of work.

This comes after it was revealed that 82 per cent of Australian workers were feeling pressured to work additional hours – with legal recruiters at the time confirming that “lawyers’ hours have always been long”. Many lawyers are still working more than 50 hours a week – well over the “ordinary hours” of 38 hours a week stated in the Fair Work Act.


In July last year, former Travis Schultz & Partners associate James Leggo said that “modern Australian work culture is not something to be envied” and that he has already seen many practitioners leave the legal sphere entirely, in search of greater work/life balance. Burnout was also revealed to be of top concern to in-house legal teams, too.

Angelica Hunt, senior marketing lead at The Dream Collective, believes the lazy girl job trend has also uncovered negative feelings towards companies: “The ‘lazy girl’ trend addresses an ever-growing misalignment between companies and individuals, where non-inclusive workplace cultures are no longer being accepted.”

“Companies simply aren’t walking the walk regarding inclusion – flexibility and hybrid working options are being reduced by companies mandating returning to the office and, in some cases, reverting to pre-COVID inflexibility,” said Ms Hunt.

With Gen Z job hopping more than any other generation, some may say that they’re searching for something.

“As Gen Z changes jobs at a higher rate than any other generation, they increasingly realise that the issue is ultimately the same wherever they go. Therefore, they are taking matters into their own hands and designing a working life that works for them,” Ms Hunt explained.

“They want a work/life blend – where they feel their work is in synergy with their lives, not in conflict with it. They’ve learned from their parents’ generation that pouring your whole life into work at the expense of all else may not be paying off as much as they once thought.”

So what can companies do to mitigate these risks and keep younger workers engaged? Prioritising the things that workers want, such as flexibility, can assist.

“Organisations that want to attract, engage and retain this generation will need to be more intentional with their inclusion efforts – the companies that we work with that do this well are those that have genuinely flexible working cultures, accommodate different working styles, are trialling a four-day work week and enable remote work. If people leave to enable themselves to work while they travel, companies could consider how to make this possible within the organisation,” said Ms Hunt.

“Those that resist this movement and pin Gen Z as the generation that doesn’t want to work, that believe that you have to suffer through the pain of overworking to enjoy work/life balance later in life, are missing the opportunity to understand where this is coming from. If we address it, we create better, more inclusive, and happier workplaces where people genuinely want to be – is that not beneficial for everyone?”

Dr Anna Denejkina, research director for YouthInsight, noted that the “hustle culture” is a thing of the past as more young workers are taking control of their lives outside of work.

“In our 2022 Student Edge Members Research, young people reported that economic failings, out-of-reach housing, saving money, and the cost-of-living pressure were some of the hardest things about being a young person today. These difficulties were reported alongside mental health, overall uncertainty about the future, and a worsening climate as issues of most concern,” said Dr Denejkina.

“With the large number of life stressors already impacting young people today, it’s expected that many are prioritising their wellbeing and looking for work that is stress-free or less demanding. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated such trends in work culture and work balance, and we’re seeing these trends continue today, including with the latest ‘#lazygirljob’ trend.”

She continued: “Some of these have been dubbed ‘the Great Resignation’ – where people have been leaving their jobs and even changing industries for working environments and organisations which provide better work/life balance and greater respect for their staff. Another change we have heard about is the idea of ‘quiet quitting’, which has been criticised in bad faith, where all it means is that staff are doing the exact job that they are being paid to do, i.e., meeting their job description.”

Supporting hybrid and remote working is a good step towards supporting these attitudes, said Dr Denejkina.

“There are many examples of companies, including in the tech space, that have embraced a genuinely flexible work culture by supporting hybrid or fully remote work. Research has also shown that remote workers are more productive and have better work/life balance overall, preventing issues like burnout and likely negative wellbeing and health outcomes,” she outlined.

“Overwork is a significant issue, and setting boundaries is about protecting your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Setting workplace boundaries is important for workers of all ages. Here we must also recognise that some have more resources than others to be able to do this, as it largely depends on the system in which they work. Overwork is a systemic issue, and workplace leaders need to seriously think about how they can better support their staff to enact a healthy work/life balance and empower their staff to set boundaries when it comes to work.”

Dr Angela Lim, chief executive of Clearhead, further supported these claims, noting that the lazy girl job trend is a reaction to burnout.

“At the heart of the #lazygirljob trend is recognising that the societal zeitgeist has shifted from a corporate hustle culture to one that prioritises work/life balance, purpose and mental wellbeing. A large part of this wider macro trend is a response to burnout being on the rise and the younger employees’ unwillingness to accept jobs that clearly demonstrates inherent psychosocial risks that drive burnout,” said Dr Lim.

“With majority of the workforce making out of Millennials and Gen Z in the next few years. Companies need to quickly shift away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more personalised approach of understanding individual employee’s values and designing work in a way that in order to unlock engagement.”

Dr Lim added: “Employers need to accept that the younger generation is less driven by titles and salary but motivation will come more from leaders clearly communicate how their work is meaningful and aligning the work delivered in terms of outcomes, not outputs.”