What's Trending: Hustle Culture

What’s Trending: Hustle Culture

What’s Trending: Hustle Culture

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Are older generations out of touch, or are the kids wrong?

That’s a question for the ages, but one that has come to the forefront in recent years since gen Z entered the workforce… and when millennials got their start in the labor market… and when gen X entered… That is to say, generational disputes in the workplace are a tale as old as time.

And yet, gen z has been causing some waves, especially with the quiet quitting buzzword that was making the rounds last year, but according to experts this is just a response to the hustle culture that had dominated the zeitgeist for years on end.

Hustle culture is the idea that you’re always working. And if your work day is over, you most likely have a side hustle as well. It preaches that there’s always something else to be done, you can always achieve more, and earn more money.

 But what do leading publications have to say about it?

The HR Digest

Jane Harper of The HR Digest argues that gen Z’s approach to the workplace could actually be the answer to some of the problems that have plagued modern work.

With the pandemic’s limelight on remote work and essential workers, 2020 put all-around health and well-being at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Burnout became a recognized condition and workers scrambled to regain control of their work-life balance. But as hustle culture permeated the generations, maybe it’s time to reevaluate its impact.

“We all want to believe that previous generations were a group of entrepreneurs and dreamers, but the reality is that most people were just chasing the status of being seen as super hardworking.”

The HR Digest

It’s not that gen Z is lazy, just that they want to take some time during the day to really focus on the tasks they should do, not the extra tasks they might add onto their pile because of hustle culture. This method might seem like they’re avoiding responsibilities, but instead, it’s theorized that this could be the answer for the entire workforce.

This approach might raise workers’ motivation, improve their mental health, enhance work-life balance, and increase job satisfaction.


Are your days your own? This question is at the center of Heather E. McGowan’s emotional piece in Forbes. The fact of the matter is that every minute we’re at work is a minute we won’t ever get back—this can be either the trigger for an existential crisis or a liberating notion to make every second count.

“The average American works roughly 90,000 hours, or 3,750 days, of their life. How are you spending your 3,750 days?”


Hustle culture has made people think that “money is finite and time infinite,” when the author argues that it’s the opposite. She writes that with the pandemic, and the collapse of personal and professional life, remote and hybrid work should allow us more flexibility. It has only made digital presenteeism rise, a.k.a. when workers do unnecessary stuff to prove that they’re working.

This article argues that this is the moment to regain control of your time. Connect with people. Take a step back and understand that work will be there, but you need to flourish and enjoy other areas of life to be the best employee you can be. Work to live, instead of living to work.


Hustle culture leads to stress. Stress damages our bodies. If your body is damaged you can’t work. That is what Alexa Mikhail’s article for Fortune leans into. In it, she interviews Jacinta Jimenez, a psychologist and author, who talks about the myths of productivity and hustle culture.

“Chronic stress can lead to health problems like heart disease and hypertension. Constant stress can also lead to anxiety and depression and put people at risk for other serious mental health challenges. And hustle culture may not make us more productive after all.”


We’re all living fast, to the point that people brag about how little they’ve slept, eaten, and rested, not realizing that they’re only hurting their performance and rushing to an end with no lively goal.


Is hustle culture hurting us? The answer appears disproportionately “yes,” as Jing Pan pens for Yahoo.

“Labor productivity slowed in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. […] While this measurement increased a modest 0.8% in the third quarter of 2022, it’s not enough to make up for what was lost in the first half of the year.”


With the great resignation, employers struggled to retain employees and fought each other for talent. But when asking employees, the main trouble seemed to be burnout, and their answer was the much-maligned “quiet quitting.”Quiet quitting is the antithesis to hustle culture. Instead of doing above and beyond, it’s just pulling back to do only what needs to be done. According to a survey by Offsyte, people feel burnout but are eager to grow and work, just on their terms. Going by the numbers, 34% of people answered that they want to take on more responsibilities at their current employer, and 31% want to develop new skills. Still, almost half mentioned that they want employers to improve employee well-being, and 38% want employers to improve team building.

The Takeaway

Hustle culture is not quite a thing of the past, but it seems to be on its way out. As younger generations begin taking their place in the workforce, change is inevitable. Besides, according to experts, their approach might even help with the burnout and stress crisis that has been plaguing workers for years now but has magnified the new normal that we currently live in. All in all, is it so bad to take things a bit slow if all the goals and needs are being met?

Contributed by Ana Martinez

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