A recent graduate said she had little time for her personal life while working a full-time job.
Commenters came out in support of the TikToker and said they could relate to the same feelings.
The 40-hour work week is a much-discussed topic on TikTok, with some calling for it to be reformed.
Viewers rallied around a graduate who said she was upset about her first office job out of college because of the lack of time she had for a personal life or basic chores by the time she got home.
On October 19, a TikToker named Brielle, who recently started a corporate job in the New York area, posted a video where she appeared visibly upset as she addressed the camera. The on-screen caption read, "in a 9-5 how do u have time for ur life."
In the upload, Brielle, who asked that Insider only use her first name to protect her privacy, said that it was her first job out of college and that she worked from the office, which meant she had to commute into the city even though it took "forever" because she couldn't afford to live there.
She said she got on her train at 7:30 a.m. and didn't get home until "6:15 earliest," at which point, she said, she had no time or energy to cook dinner or work out. The 9-5 schedule and the commute wiped out her days, she said.
At the start of the video, the TikToker said she was "probably just being so dramatic and annoying" and acknowledged her situation could be worse. She said she could be working even longer hours but questioned how people were supposed to make time for friends or to date.
"I don't have time for anything, and I'm, like, so stressed out," she said toward the end of the video.
The upload appeared to resonate; it received 1.2 million views and more than 7,300 comments. Many wrote they could relate to the situation, as they shared that they, too, had limited time for their own personal lives and found the repetitive routine difficult to deal with.
"The 40 hour work week is beyond outdated and your feelings are totally valid," one viewer wrote.
Others echoed how hard it was to work a full-time job while staying on top of household tasks, let alone trying to maintain a personal life. Some questioned how they were supposed to one day make time to raise kids, as they spent more time at work than they did with their families.
"Gen Z need to collectively move up into management positions and then collectively enforce the 4 day work week," one commenter wrote. Others said the option of remote work should be the way forward.
Brielle told Insider in an email statement, "I am very grateful to have my job after five months of unsuccessful searching after college, but it is discouraging and understandable why Americans are burnt out and mental illness levels are high," adding that she felt fortunate to have a job she was interested in and enjoyed, but was concerned that many office workers weren't finding time to enjoy "sunlight, exercise, adequate sleep, healthy eating, and forming connections with other people."
She added, "I leave for work before sunrise and get home after sunset."
Brielle also highlighted the overwhelmingly positive response she received in the comments, saying, "I want to be able to talk for this next generation and explain that a 40-hour work week plus commute is not necessary for productivity. I appreciate all the positive comments from other sympathetic workers."
She said she hoped more companies would consider rethinking the 40-hour work week, especially after so many people were used to being remote.
On October 25, after this article was originally published, Brielle posted a follow-up TikTok reiterating these points, and also said her initial video wasn't about her job specifically. She then went on to share further details about her job, including saying her commute was two hours long, meaning she was often out of the house for over 12 hours at a time.
"Most people have kids and animals. Imagine me leaving a dog or a kid at home from 7:30 in the morning to 7:30 at night," she said, suggesting that would be considered "abuse."
In July, the New Zealand-based nonprofit 4 Day Week Global released findings from a pilot program that featured a four-day work week in participating companies spanning the US, Australia, and the United Kingdom and found, after a year of testing, that work intensity dipped but workers were more efficient and had a better work-life balance.
The 40-hour work week is a much-discussed topic on TikTok, with a search term that has 42.8 million views and features videos from uploaders calling for it to be reformed, highlighting the lack of financial reward despite working the full-time schedule or parodying those who push for longer hours.
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