‘I was terrified a client would email me’: TikToker discusses skipping lunch during work-from-home job, sparking debate – The Daily Dot

@studiogail.co/TikTok @studiogail.co/TikTok
Grace Stanley
Posted on Aug 4, 2022
In a viral TikTok, a remote worker described skipping lunch due to fears of missing emails from clients, sparking controversy over pressures to overwork while working from home. 
The viral video, which has over 109,500 views, was posted by TikToker Abbey (@studiogail.co). In the video, Abbey shows off her lunch and lip-syncs. “It’s not a fire drill. No ma’am no it’s not. We work in marketing,” the audio plays.
“Me @ my past self who didn’t take time to eat lunch in my [work-from-home] job because I was terrified a client would email me while I was standing in my kitchen and the whole world would combust if I didn’t answer them within 2 minutes like ma’am, eat the damn food,” the TikToker wrote in text over the video. 
“And [by] my past self I mean me last week,” the TikToker captioned the video. 
Abbey told the Daily Dot she works remotely as she owns a brand strategy and website design business. She said wearing many hats as a business owner has led her to sometimes neglect her needs. 
“As I’ve worked from home and gotten into the routine of taking on client projects as my income, I have definitely been prone to take too much on my plate. Specifically, in times that I have multiple projects happening at once, or I’ve overpacked my schedule by putting deadlines too close together, I find myself afraid to walk away from the computer even for a minute,” the business owner shared. 
Abbey said she thinks anyone working from home can relate to feeling pressure to overwork and skip breaks: “There is definitely a time to be focused on your job, and sometimes this means having to skip lunch, but the fact that this is a norm for so many people is a red flag. Why are basic human needs seen as a luxury?”.
Viewers in the comments section shared similar experiences of feeling pressured to skip breaks when working from home.
“This is me currently. i needed to see this today,” one user shared.
“Omfg this was me. If I didn’t reply to a slack in .2 seconds a higher up at my old company would say ‘Mackenzie?????’ Still recovering from the ptsd,” another replied. 
“This is me with my crippling anxiety, teach me your ways…I’m too anxious to even eat,” another described.
Abbey told the Daily Dot she was surprised to have gone viral on a video that took only a few minutes to create, and that she was interested to hear from other people facing similar challenges: “The response was primarily from other women in a similar boat. So many of the comments shared about similar anxiety they feel when they walk away from the screen and miss an email even by a minute…[It was] honestly really nice to relate to other people who share similar stress about work.”
Grace Stanley is a reporter covering creators and influencers. They were previously the social media manager for Nautilus Magazine and attended the University of Texas at Austin.
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