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  • Dr. Susan Doering

Would you rather spend your time "lying flat" than working ?

Updated: Aug 24

A new movement for the next Covid-era phase

With companies and organisations doing their best to arrange work to meet the demands of both the business and employees in the next phase of the Covid era (unfortunately we can’t yet say post-Covid era), people are asking themselves after much practice at teleworking and juggling work and life whether there might be a new way of working that allows for a better mix. We are also finding more stories of people who have opted out of the competitive career race, gone back to living with their parents and are doing occasional jobs whilst renouncing a dysfunctional system to which they refuse to belong any more. This has its own name: the Lying Flat Movement, named after a Chinese worker posted a blog which described his new way of life and which subsequently went viral.

Let’s take this seriously, as the attitude reveals a deep-seated desire that many people – perhaps you - are feeling around the question: where is the deciding line between doing what I want to do with my time and doing what I need to do to earn the money I need?

3 questions to ask yourself

1. Where does reality start?

Start by acknowledging what your range of choice is. How reliant on a certain income are you? What would you happily give up if that income was not available? Dismal reality will kick in very quickly if living with parents is not your idea of happiness but you don’t have the means to do anything else. What are your true parameters for a sustainable, happy, healthy life?


2. How much do you like your work?

You may feel frustrated or overworked or undervalued or demotivated or bored….but do you actually like the kind of work that you do? If not, then it’s time to find something that you do like.

If you do like your work, then what are your options for finding a work context where you will feel more engaged and fulfilled and where you get up in the morning and look forward to starting your work day?


3. What is stopping you finding the optimal work arrangement that fits with your vision of your life?

This is the question where you need to dig down deep for the answer. If what is stopping you is an immovable and unchangeable circumstance or fact of life, then you need to adjust your vision to accommodate that. You can’t fight gravity, you have to adjust to it. But if there is a problem or barrier that is stopping you, then you can work at overcoming it.


Lying flat might sound attractive – but is it really? It will probably be more productive to work at actively doing something about shaping your life including the work you do.


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