The question of work-life balance has been a longstanding debate with employees Working for how many days works better for whom is a longstanding debate. Either way, as far as work-life balance is maintained, other things can take a backseat.
Work-life balance has become more important than ever in a world that is eroding the mental health of people. Leading the fight for better working conditions is the Gen Z generation and they are making no bones about it. As opposed to the standard five-day-a-week, many Gen Z employees are now opting for a four-day-a-week. While this seems a topic that can often be touchy with baby boomers in leadership positions, a young woman on TikTok gave it a shot. Gabrielle Judge–who goes by @gabrielle_judge–posted a video on TikTok where she debated about the four-day workweek with a CEO.
Judge started the video by saying, "I recently battled four-day work weeks with a CEO just for you." She then went on to show her viewers a snippet of that conversation, which was recorded for a panel. She highlights how the difference in mindset is so vast between baby boomers and Gen Z and how it impacts workplaces. She strongly believes that the difference in perspectives between the generations could lead to a sea change in the future.
She then plugs in the video of an online meeting wherein the CEO talks about how she could very well do her work, the kind she needs to grow and contribute, in four days. However, what is she then supposed to do on the fifth day? She asks, "How much do I invest in my own career and my own expertise in adding things and how much do I do more nonwork, throw away work?" She finally concludes her question, aiming one at Gabrielle. She asks, "Gabrielle, is that a fair kind of assessment about what you're seeing?"
Gabrielle answers by saying, "The extra fifth day, you can do whatever you want. That's the exciting part." She then goes on to talk about the new meaning of the term work-life balance. She rightly says that in today's generation, there is a big curiosity about what life looks like when one is not entirely work-centered. Millennials believed that work-life balance meant that if one had a dentist appointment, they could take a long lunch instead of a PTO. However, that is no longer the case. She then says, "There's a whole other iteration to it now where it's like, 'What does it look like when I truly decenter my success metrics from a promotion?'"
Judge then adds, "The historical context that you have should not be ignored, right, of how work started with baby boomers." She empathized with the fact that baby boomers grew up in a totally different environment that evidently worked for them. However, it can not always work or work for Gen Z entirely. User @yaysunday commented, "You did so well! She needs to unpack why she thinks days not working is throwaway time," Gabrielle replied and said, "She comes from a different time, so I have empathy with that. She also is in the business of traditional mindsets."
Judge's video went viral and garnered over 2M views with 195.6K likes. @burpeesandbriefs spilled some facts as he said, "She's either data-driven or she's not. The data shows that productivity increases with a four-day work week because people are happier." Empathizing with the CEO and fairly so, user @danbarot said, "There is an entire generation whose personal value is directly connected to how busy they are with work. It'll be hard for them to disconnect that."