#worktok: The surge of venting about the worst of work
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Workers across the world have picked up their smartphones to vent about the 9-to-5 on TikTok, the social media app with a billion monthly users.
The app, in which users dive down an infinite scroll of short videos filmed by other users, attracts thousands of workers complaining about and making fun of work and their day jobs, mostly in the form of short comedy sketches filmed on their phones, often set to music and sometimes peppered with explicit language. The videos are filed under the popular hashtag of #worktok (as well as #careertok and simply #work) and are watched by millions.
The experiences and nuances of corporate life and working in an office are relatable and almost universal.
Whether it's the annoyance of turning cameras on for Zoom calls or the whiplash of sudden check-ins with your boss, no work-related quirk is safe from ridicule.
Many users on #worktok – a tag that has more than a half-billion views – found themselves ending up on TikTok out of lockdown malaise, when their companies implemented remote-work policies more than two years ago.
#worktok shows how so many of us go through the same experiences, regardless of what our jobs are.
The rise of #worktok is part of a broader referendum on the current state of work.
These videos provide light-hearted viral distractions that let people bond over what they dislike about work – but they also reflect how, as the pandemic has dragged on, many of the problematic elements of work have come under increased scrutiny.
There is a realisation among many knowledge workers that they don't necessarily need to be in the office every single day.
These TikTok videos are emblematic of the recent push for more worker flexibility, better work-life balance and greater mental health awareness.
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TikTok: The new place for venting.
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