Lie Flat (Tang Ping) Trends in Australia: A Case Study

Lie Flat (Tang Ping) Trends in Australia: A Case Study

The “Lie Flat” or “Tang Ping” movement, which began as a cultural rebellion against China’s demanding work culture, has transcended its origins and sparked a global dialogue on work-life balance. In Australia, this trend is gaining traction among young workers who reject the relentless pursuit of career success at the expense of personal well-being.

This article explores the origins, evolution, and current state of the Lie Flat movement in Australia, highlighting its implications for the future of work.

Origins of the Lie Flat Movement

The Lie Flat movement originated in China as a reaction to the grueling ‘996’ work culture, where employees are expected to work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week. This extreme work ethic, praised by corporate leaders and government officials alike, led many young Chinese to feel overworked and undervalued.

In response, they began to advocate for a simpler, more balanced lifestyle, rejecting traditional measures of success like high salaries and prestigious job titles.

The Lie Flat Movement in Australia

A New Generation’s Perspective

In Australia, the Lie Flat movement has found resonance among Generation Z, who are increasingly disillusioned with the prospect of dedicating their lives to work.

A 23-year-old Australian man recently took to Reddit to seek financial advice on how to adopt the Lie Flat approach. He expressed his desire to escape the “rat race” and avoid the “above and beyond” culture that characterized the professional lives of previous generations.

Economic and Social Drivers

Several factors contribute to the growing appeal of the Lie Flat movement in Australia:

1. Economic Inequality: Rising house prices and significant education costs have made traditional milestones like homeownership and higher education increasingly unattainable for many young Australians. This economic reality diminishes the appeal of long hours and relentless career advancement.

2. Burnout and Mental Health: The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated feelings of burnout and highlighted the importance of mental health. Many young workers are prioritizing their well-being over professional achievements.

3. Cultural Shifts: There is a generational shift in values, with younger workers placing greater importance on work-life balance and personal fulfillment over traditional career success.

Office worker thinking hard

The Debate: Support and Criticism

The Lie Flat movement has sparked a heated debate in Australia. On platforms like Reddit and LinkedIn, opinions are divided. Some view the movement as a pragmatic response to an unsustainable work culture, while others see it as a sign of entitlement and lack of ambition.

Supportive Perspectives

Supporters of the movement argue that it reflects a healthy reevaluation of priorities. As one Reddit user noted, young people are increasingly unwilling to “slave away in a cubicle for 60 years” without any real promise of financial stability or personal satisfaction. They see the Lie Flat movement as a necessary pushback against an exploitative economic system.

Critical Perspectives

Critics, on the other hand, argue that the Lie Flat mentality is “sad” and reflects a lack of passion and purpose. Prominent figures like accountant Jason Andrew have suggested that young people adopting this approach need therapy or coaching to reignite their drive. Critics also argue that this mindset could lead to a lack of innovation and productivity in the long run.

The Role of Employers

As the Lie Flat movement gains traction, employers must adapt to changing workforce dynamics. This means reassessing traditional work models and creating environments that promote work-life balance. Claudine Mangen, an expert in responsible organizations, emphasizes the need for employers to address toxic work cultures and ensure workloads are manageable.

Strategies for Adaptation

1. Flexible Work Arrangements: Offering flexible working hours and remote work options can help employees achieve a better work-life balance.

2. Supportive Work Culture: Employers should foster a supportive work culture that prioritizes employee well-being and recognizes the importance of mental health.

3. Realistic Expectations: Setting realistic expectations for productivity and avoiding excessive overtime can help prevent burnout and promote long-term job satisfaction.


The Lie Flat movement in Australia represents a significant cultural shift in attitudes toward work. As young Australians prioritize personal well-being over traditional career success, employers and society must adapt to these changing values. By embracing flexibility, support, and realistic expectations, workplaces can create environments that foster both productivity and personal fulfillment.

The Lie Flat movement, once a regional phenomenon, is now a global conversation, challenging long-held beliefs about success and work in the 21st century.



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