The article tries to describe a complex phenomenon in Russian culture and philosophy the metaphysics of labor. Much attention is paid to Russian philosophical thought of the beginning of the 20th century, and the views of L.N. Tolstoy to this problem. The question is raised about the formation of economic and labor ethics in Russia, as well as the religious motivation of work. The axiological value of labor for the Russian person is determined, the metaphysical essence of labor in the national image of the world is revealed. This was still discussed by religious thinkers. S.N. Bulgakov wrote about the "sophisticated" nature of labor activity. The study also examines the phenomenon of laziness, the category of "leisure", "free time" in the context of spiritual Russian culture. The connection of labor activity with moral categories is traced. The work involves analytical, historical, descriptive and systematic methods of analysis.