The “antiwork” movement

January 12, 2022

Reddit ‘antiwork’ forum booms as millions of Americans quit jobs, Financial Times report. Antiwork “encourages followers to work as little as possible in traditional jobs or abandon them altogether for self-employment, with the goal of prioritising leisure time.”

The r/antiwork thread on Reddit surged from 180,000 members in October 2020 to 1.6 million as people reconsider their career options for the post-covid era — a major trend also covered by the State of Independence 2021 report.

Our take: Antiemployment would be a more precise term (though less catchy), but it is too soon to tell anyway. The boom of various forms of freelancing (including gig work) has been prophesized many times since the 1990s, but the numbers of self-employed were falling for decades or stagnating at best. Naturally, it is much easier to start freelancing than keeping at it successfully for five or ten years.

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