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Employees vs employers and systemic change in work culture

Is there a phenomenon developing on TikTok related to the growing demand for systemic change in work culture? So-called Corporate TikTok is where content creators talk about the toxic habits of employers, offering advice and warnings about harmful places of employment. Some creators post-resignation videos, known as “Quit-Toks”.

Young Chinese are increasingly shifting from prestigious, well-paid, but mentally demanding white-collar jobs to ordinary, physical ones. In China, long working hours and apodictic managers are on the agenda. That’s why technical workers become cashiers, former accountants sell fast food, and former content managers deliver takeaway meals. Advocates of change value predictable working hours, an escape from mental exhaustion, and an atmosphere of constant competition.

Although employees claim to be more productive when they work remotely or in a hybrid system, their bosses do not trust them and undermine their productivity. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, calls this phenomenon “productivity paranoia”. Meanwhile, according to the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), remote teams focused on building trust and validating results have higher productivity rates. In contrast, when McDonald’s demanded that employees return to their offices in the summer of 2021, its executives emphasised the benefits of direct contact between employees. However, at the beginning of April 2023, the company’s authorities ordered all corporate employees to work remotely to be able to fire hundreds of them – via Zoom, other applications or by phone.

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