'It's Soul-Crushing': Tearful Gen Z Rant About Commuting, In-Office Work Divides Internet The video by @brielleybelly123 has been viewed more than eight million times.

By Emily Rella

Key Takeaways

  • The TikToker can't afford to live in the city where she works, so she has to commute every day.
  • Although some commenters agreed with her, others were less sympathetic.

Many Gen Z workers entered the workforce during the pandemic, when remote work and virtual meetings were the norm.

Now, as work transitions back to hybrid models and in-office requirements, the younger generation is feeling the heat as it experiences commuting and cubicle life for the first time.

In a clip that's been viewed more than eight million times, TikToker @brielleybelly123 posted a tearful confession about adjusting to a typical 9-5 schedule after graduating college. She said that there's "no way" that she would be able to afford to live in the city where she works, so she must commute every day.


im also getting sick leave me alone im emotional ok i feel 12 and im scared of not having time to live

♬ original sound - BRIELLE

"The 9-5 schedule, in general, is crazy," she told viewers. "Being in office 9-5, like if it was remote, you get off at five, and you're home, and everything's fine. But like I'm not home, it takes me long to get home. I know it could be worse. I know I could be working longer, but I literally get off; it's pitch black — I don't have energy. How do you have friends?"

Related: Why Hybrid Work Will Win Out Over Remote and In-Person

The TikToker lamented about her nearly 12-hour day door-to-door and having no desire to work out, cook or socialize after she arrives home.

People were conflicted in the comment section, with some agreeing that the 9-5 is an antiquated work model that needs re-assessing, calling it "depressing" and "repetitive."

"[A] 40-hour work week was designed with a homemaker to take care of house tasks," one person pointed out. "We need dual incomes now, so that's not possible. No time for anything."

"It's soul-crushing," another agreed. "Like honestly feels like a prison sentence."

Others, however, were less sympathetic to the TikToker and tried to explain to her that this is the reality of the American work life.

"Welcome to adulthood," one said bluntly.

"Ok Gen X here and this cracks me up," another offered. "I did a full-time job and 2 part-time jobs while going to college full-time. I'm on call now 24/7. 9-5 is amazing."

Gen Z encompasses all people born between the years 1997 and 2012, who are currently projected to account for roughly 27% of the global workforce by 2025.

Related: Our Brains Will Never Be The Same Again After Remote Work

Though the TikToker's reaction to her new life schedule was met with divided opinions from viewers, the notion of not wanting to opt-in to a five-day workweek in-office is not unheard of.

According to a recent report by Forbes, a whopping 65% of workers prefer a remote work schedule, while 32% prefer a hybrid model.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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