Work less to live better, or the new trend of “dework”

The labor market is in turmoil, and with the pandemic, workers are adopting new behaviors. We recently talked about the trend called the “big quit”, which is causing many employees to leave their jobs, even well-paid ones, because of the sacrifices required and the lack of meaning that these positions suffer from. Here is another more local phenomenon, called “détravail”. Spotted by FranceInfo, this news tendency is emerging among the younger generations of working people, who prioritize quality of life over salary, and reject the self-sacrifice that was the norm in the working world of their parents.

Young people do not aspire to the same goals as their parents

“Détravail” is different from the FIRE movement, which advocates working hard and saving until the age of forty, in order to retire very early and live in freedom in financial independence. On the contrary, the followers of “dework” recommend working only the time strictly necessary, in a logic of decrease and environmental concerns, in order to be able to enjoy life and free time as soon as possible. In Nantes, this trend is illustrated by the Collective Work Less (CTM), which states that the relationship of young people to work has changed a lot. They want to play sports, prepare to eat quietly, have time for their friends… In the end, they reject the model of the older generations: “My parents always did six days a week at full speed,” explains Romane, 24. , who has just opened her podiatry practice in Ploemeur (Morbihan), in Brittany, and who, according to the philosophy of the “détravail” movement, will not take on many patients in order to benefit from a good quality of life.

A movement restricted to a privileged few

However, this trend seems very limited. Most of the “deworkers” are young graduates without children, who can afford to “dework” thanks to the financial security offered by their parents, who have enabled them to carry out studies which ensure them well-paid activities. This is what allows them to work voluntarily, without problems, to cover their basic needs. Even if it is difficult to analyze the extent and the medium and long-term consequences of this phenomenon, this movement does not help to combat the shortage of recruitment in several sectors in tension.

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