scorecardTikTok's time wasters are explaining how to make it till 5 o'clock for employees adjusting to returning to offices in the remote and hybrid work era
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TikTok's time wasters are explaining how to make it till 5 o'clock for employees adjusting to returning to offices in the remote and hybrid work era

Jordan Hart   

TikTok's time wasters are explaining how to make it till 5 o'clock for employees adjusting to returning to offices in the remote and hybrid work era
Careers3 min read
  • The 9-to-5ers of TikTok are letting the internet know their ideal daily agenda for in-person jobs.
  • Key ways to waste time included 30-minute ping-pong breaks and 15-minute snack breaks, according to one TikToker.

The eight-hour work day looks much different now than it did before the pandemic for many professionals, so social media users are breaking down how they spent their time at the office when in-person work was the norm.

A viral TikTok explaining the "real work flex" to strategically pass time while doing little work prompted others to make their own videos giving a play-by-play of their days at the office before COVID-19 caused a boom in remote work.

"They won't tell you this, but the real work flex isn't grinding for 80 hours a week. The real work flex is time theft," TikToker Daniel Ezra said in the video.

Responses to Ezra's video garnered even more attention than the original post, including a post shared by TikTok user @r1mas which raked in over three million views in just six days. The TikToker agreed with Ezra's point about stealing time while at the office and gave a tutorial for the "younger generation" that may be used to remote work.

@r1mas #stitch with @danno.ezra the truth #work #corporate #wfh #office #officelife ♬ original sound - r1maS

R1mas' daily timeline for a 9-to-5 included getting to the office 15 minutes after nine o'clock or 30 minutes "if you really want to push it." Then, he said, you sit at your desk for 30 minutes drinking coffee and scrolling on your phone until it's time for a 30-minute bathroom break around 10 a.m.

After taking an hour-long lunch around noon, the user said, the afternoon was "just bullshitting until around four o'clock when you leave early, and that's it."

The hypothetical agenda, which notably did not mention a time where actual work was accomplished, was mostly praised by commenters.

"This is literally my daily routine in my office job. Described perfectly," one commenter wrote.

"A solid day of work has about 2-3 hours of real productive focus," another user wrote.

TikToker Abhi Ganta made his own response to Ezra's original time theft video in which he detailed his own time-wasting strategies during his 2019 tech internship. The schedule included a 15-minute "yogurt time" around 10 a.m. and a 30-minute ping-pong break an hour later, he said.

@abhi_ganta #stitch with @danno.ezra some days I miss being an intern life was on easy mode back then #corporate #tech #intern #work ♬ original sound - Abhi Ganta

The popularity of the tips reflect the rise in "quiet quitting," a term that began circulating online in 2022 referencing the act of refusing to go above and beyond for a company and instead prioritizing a healthy work-life balance, according to a report from Insider. The phenomenon was met with criticism from experts and praise from Gen Z and millennial workers, per the report.

According to Insider's Áine Cain, quiet quitters have been labeled as "slackers" by some, while other experts have encouraged a more communicative approach to being more engaged at work.

"I'm a huge proponent of both employees and leaders collaborating and communicating," Jay McDonald, executive coach and author of "Strategic Jaywalking: The Secret Sauce to Life & Leadership Excellence," told Cain.

He continued: "I used to tell many of my employees, 'I don't really care when you come to work or when you leave, as long as you get your job done and do it satisfactorily.'"




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