Perhaps only a girl group sprung from the second season of X Factor could fully speak to the millennial philosophy on working, which is, in essence, “Can’t I just do it from home?” Though the narrative of Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home” speaks to a desire to spend more time with one’s boyfriend (Ally Brooke, Camila Cabello, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane Hansen and Lauren Jauregui are a veritable Betty Draper rat king), when interpreted from a literal standpoint, it truly speaks to the current generation’s edict on working. And yes, considering all one needs is a computer to perform any of the non-manual labor tasks available in the world of the twenty-first century, it really doesn’t make much sense for any millennial to have to be somewhere at a particular time.
Breaking down the chorus, “You don’t gotta go to work, work, work, work, work, work, work/But you gotta put in work, work, work, work, work, work, work,” Fifth Harmony’s repetition of the most glorious get out of jail free card from actually having to deal with human interaction by going into an office is all any listener can really focus on. For most people with a natural contempt for conventional working, reading further into the tale of the song becomes null, as all he or she wants to absorb is that part about not working.
And then there is the music video to consider, with its emphasis on the increasingly outmoded notion of physical labor. As the scantily clad quintet lazes around and/or dances on a construction site waiting for their men to be done working, the concept also speaks to the notion of how boredom merely cultivates half-assed labor. When a person is forced into a work environment for a certain fixed period throughout the day just for the sake of “putting in the time,” the quality of the job is inevitably going to deteriorate the longer he or she is quote unquote present (in body, but not in mind). Side note: this is why Danish citizens have it right with their thirty-three hour workweek (and diminishing).
While Fifth Harmony may be using the work from home trend some are lucky enough to procure as a metaphor for wanting to bone more regularly with their boo, there can be no denying how effectively it applies to the work ethic of the twenty-first century.