Edward’s usual workday begins at 0830. He showers, makes breakfast and grabs a coffee – all on company time. During the rest of his morning, the sales employee, who works remotely for a firm based in the north-east of England, periodically checks his inbox, attends the occasional meeting and watches YouTube.
As lunch approaches, Edward cycles to the shop, selects ingredients and cooks a gourmet meal for one. His break soon bleeds into the afternoon: 15-minute bursts of work are interspersed with prolonged bouts of cyberloafing, listening to comedy podcasts and reading (most recently, Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber – a book that explores the modern phenomenon of pointless work). By 1600, he’s typically done for the day. “I’ve completely mentally checked out,” says Edward, whose surname is being withheld for job-security concerns. “Now, I’m just turning my focus to other things and putting myself before work.”
That doesn’t mean Edward is failing at his job or ignoring work; he does whatever his manager needs and, because he always replies to emails and attends scheduled calls, he’s never seen to be late. Rather, he’s decided simply to coast along, on a comfortable salary and in a remote set-up that suits his work-life balance. “Work has been getting on my nerves for a while,” he adds. “So, I’ve been happy to just collect the pay cheque.”
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