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HomeNews“Act Your Wage” Trend Continues to Gain Traction in Corporate America 

“Act Your Wage” Trend Continues to Gain Traction in Corporate America 

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“Act your age” is the famous phrase we know that urges individuals to match their age with the corresponding maturity. But a new variation is trending – “Act your wage.”

A Collage of an Unhappy Worker and the Tiktok Logo
Source: LinkedIn/ Quora

What does this phrase mean, and what action does it inspire in its target audience? Here, we will address these questions and lots more. 

The New Trend 

Recently, the trend “act your wage” burst out and gained much attention on TikTok. A movement has formed from it that has spread widely across the internet. 

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TikTok Logo
Source: Quora

The trend is a response to and a sort of protest against poor working conditions at the office. Most prominently, it is a defiance of low wages. Many employees are embracing the message and implementing the culture it promotes. 

Low Pay, Low Performance 

“Act your wage” means “don’t put in more work than your pay corresponds to.” That is, do not exceed expectations at work. For instance, if you get paid minimum wage, you shouldn’t give more than the basic performance. 

Lazy Worker
Source: Quora

The message is about setting boundaries and not being outsmarted by your employers. The trend targets employers who fail to give their employees the support and compensation they deserve and yet expect their staff to give their best. 

Also Read: TikToker Claims Gen Z Isn’t Lazy, Says They’re Facing New Challenges

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Act Your Wage Workers Aren’t Difficult to Spot 

Act Your Wage employees are pretty easy to spot. While they aren’t willing to forfeit their jobs, they do not show any passion for it. They sneak out of the office at any given opportunity and for as long as possible. 

Worker on Social Media
Source: Quora

While at work, they spend unsupervised hours having fun on social media or Netflix. They arrive at work at almost exactly opening hours and are the first to leave at closing hours. 

They Believe That There is No Reason to Work on Weekends

The trend also suggests that white-collar workers do less work and get more pay, unlike their blue-collar counterparts, who do most of the work and only get peanuts. 

A Staff at Her Office Desk
Source: LinkedIn

The trend’s instruction for blue-collar workers is to avoid as much work as possible. Also, staff who aren’t adequately compensated at work should stop working on weekends or beyond 5 p.m. 

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Many American Workers Are Just “Showing Up”

A Gallup poll has shown that Act-Your-Wagers make up a worrying fraction of the nation’s workforce. The poll found that 17% of workers are “actively disengaged” from work. 50% say they are just scraping by, while only 33% are engaged at work. 

A Worker Displays a Message
Source: Quora

If the trend continues, more workers might defect to the movement. That’s because nonchalant work attitudes are easily infectious. 

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A CEO Speaks on the Issue 

Aaron Rubens, CEO and co-founder of online employee recognition platform Kudoboard, has commented on the movement. “In the wake of layoffs or hiring freezes, employees are increasingly reluctant to take on additional roles beyond their designated scope,” he said. 

An Employee at Work
Source: Quora

He also said high-flying employees are scared to take on higher roles because these roles lead to “further expectations without commensurate rewards.”

Sarai Soto is at the Forefront of the Movement 

A TikToker named Sarai Soto has become a leading figure in the movement. She makes videos for her followers illustrating the possible scenarios that could result from the new resolve. 

Sarai Soto on Tiktok
@Saraisthreads/Tiktok

The 30-year-old Tiktoker, in her videos, often dresses as Veronica, a worker at an office. Veronica has conversations with an imaginary supervisor called Susan. These videos have become popular, drawing up to 90 million likes on social media. 

Veronica Vs. Susan 

In the videos, Veronica and Susan engage in a back-and-forth about Veronica’s duties on the job. The caption of one of the videos read, “POV: Your boss asks you to do something off the clock.” 

Sarai Soto on Tiktok
Source: @saraisthreads/TikTok

Susan asked Veronica to work beyond her official working hours. But Veronica responds with a lecture on the need for staff to remain within the scope of office hours and the need for personal time. 

Also Read: New Survey Shows That Employees Are Avoiding College Graduates for Older Professionals

People Have Been Acting Their Wage for Long 

While many workers are just becoming conscious of the “Act Your Wage” movement, the culture has been around for a while. In the ’90s, Baby Boomers accused the Gen-Xers of slacking at work. 

Worker Sleeping on Duty
Source: Quora

In the ’50s, people who were disgusted with the work input of the Beat Generation called them “dangerous, marijuana-smoking experts.” In the 60s, the Greatest Generation parents of Baby Boomers accused them of idling through work hours.

Many Gen-Zers Have Been Acting their Wage 

But right now, the Gen-Zers are hopping on the trend. This is in addition to the long-held perception that they are lazy and nonchalant about work. 

A Gen-Zer at Work
Source: Quora

But are they really to blame for being disenchanted with work environments that have become more unbearable than ever? Companies are now demanding more work experience before hiring entry-level staff. This is in addition to harsh economic situations that make saving for a good life more difficult. 

Experts Believe That This Culture is Dangerous 

Despite the justifications for the mass adoption of the new trend, experts warn against it. They believe employees who pay their wages do more harm than good to themselves. 

A Worker Sleeping at Work
Source: Quora

Besides putting their employment at risk, the culture can hurt promotability and slow down their career advancement. They advise dissatisfied workers to speak to their bosses about how they feel. 

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