Will Grind Culture Ever Grind to a Halt?

the evolution of grind culture in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Grind Culture Shift

It seems some good can come out of a global pandemic! For the Covid-19 pandemic, the introduction of remote work necessitated a shift in the requirement for you to be at your desk for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and it has not fully shifted back. During this tumultuous time, “grind culture” had to shift to keep the economy running while reducing the burden on the already strained healthcare system. It must be noted that this shift was largely unrelated to workers’ health because grind culture is a machine that churns regardless of the health of its cogs.  

What is the "Grind Culture"

Grind culture is a “culture of raw achievement where longer and longer hours are not just the norm, they are the metric for success.” (Nathaniel). This oppressive system equates peoples’ value and worth to how much they can earn or produce, and cares little for their mental health or quality of life. It is the direct result of late capitalism and has deep, dark roots in the patriarchy and how all people (but especially immigrants and BIPOCs) can ostensibly gain respect and acceptance through hard work and production in the country where they live. In this system, individuals are numbers who are praised for elevating productivity over self-care.

9-5 Culture

Prior to the pandemic, the 9-5 culture was changing with each younger generation (none of us work as hard or as long as our parents did), but its speed was glacial at best. Despite burnout and its associated mental and physical health issues being on the rise, grind culture is linked to an antiquated measure of wealth (the GDP) that demands production over people, so it is blind to these effects. To continue operating, this system would have resisted the generational cultural change of less hours and more flexibility as long as possible, but Covid forced the shift upon us. Thank you, coronavirus!

With the systemic shift brought on by the pandemic, the door has opened a crack for people to prioritize their own self-care. They can choose to view their life as a cog in a giant and uncaring machine and make small shifts on an individual level. They can take advantage of new opportunities for remote work and shorter workweeks in their workplace, and these individual changes can force collective shifts in the workplaces themselves. The “Great Resignation” is happening because people have begun to see a different way to live and work; one in which they work smarter, take care of their mental and physical health, and spend more time doing the things that they love. Some workers are so entrenched in grind culture, that they have lost sight of what they love, which is where coaching comes in. Coaches play a part in the Great Resignation because they help people who know there’s something better, but those people don’t know how to reach it. In subscribing to capitalism and providing for their families, workers have lost their connection to themselves and many need help to decide what to do next. 

Reclaim Your Passion

If you’re that person, I could be that coach. Grind culture is far from its death throes, but it IS shifting! You can use this time to reclaim your passion and discover the authentic, quirky and real you that has been worn down and silenced for far too long. To answer the question of whether grind culture can ever grind to a halt, the answer is yes, at least for you! The culture itself is shifting, but even with the changes brought on by the pandemic, the pace is slow so put an end to the grind in your life. In doing so, you’ll reduce burnout and become a happier and healthier person, both at work and beyond!




 Nathaniel, Lewis. “Grind Culture.” Medium, 26 Nov. 2019, 

Share this post:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *