Baby Boomers Don’t Work Harder than Millennials

An older businessman goes head-to-head with a younger businessman.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

By now you’ve probably heard, over and over and over again, that Millennials and Generation Xers are lazy. It’s a really popular “headline” found everywhere from worthless “sponsored links” trying to install spyware on your computer, to otherwise respected media outlets like the New York Times.

Sometimes these articles focus on a specific application or cultural phenomenon (Tinder is a popular one) but they all amount to an attempted moral panic about the kids these days. They all boil down to one argument: people born after 1980 are lazy and don’t want to put any effort into doing things “right.”

The thing is, those articles are wrong. All of them. A recent study by faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit looked at 77 studies on work ethic and found that there were no differences between work ethic over the Baby Boomer Generation, Generation X, or Millennial Generation. They all work equally as hard. Maybe that’s because Baby Boomers didn’t invent working hard, and certainly did not invent the “Protestant work ethic” at the core of American and European workplace culture.

So why does this matter? Because the problem is that people are constantly trying to figure out how to manage Millennials, or how to overcome these perceived failures in their work ethic. But now we know this is a complete waste of time.

Millennials are no more (or less) lazy than older generations, they just grew up with different technology and learned to adapt to it faster. They also face student loan debts that the previous generations never faced in their worst nightmares.

Millennials also live in a far more interconnected world than their parents used to. None of that means they don’t work as hard though, and spending money on finding ways to manage the “problem” of working with Millennials has turned out to be a wasted investment.


Office Etiquette – 12 Things to Avoid Doing at Work

Office etiquette

IMG: Shutterstock

Work etiquette is constantly changing. We now have to adapt to the age of social media and what is and isn’t appropriate to say. Should you be friends with your co-workers or boss? If you are, what should say or avoid saying on your posts? A study done by AVG found that 33 percent of employees are friends with their boss on Facebook. The problem? Sometimes your boss friends you, and there is yet to be a way to decline a request nicely. Of course there are all other kinds of office etiquette. Should you talk about your dates or significant other, hang out outside of work, or leave your dishes in the sink?

Here are 12 tips on office etiquette: things to avoid doing or saying to keep your co-workers on your good side:

1) Being messy – Don’t be that one person who always leaves their dishes in the sink all day if everyone else cleans theirs up. You can be as messy as you want at home, but at the office at least be considerate.

2) Email typos, emoticons, colors, etc. – Unless your office is very laid-back and used to this, avoid anything but normal typeface. Remember to spell check, and write professionally.

3) Being a know-it-all  – For all of The Office lovers out there, recall that in in almost every episode Oscar corrects people. Don’t be this kind of person. When it is important and pertains to business, of course correct someone. However, if someone calls their shirt orange and you think it is salmon; keep it to yourself.

4) TMI – Be very careful of TMI. The definition of TMI can be very different from office to office, so keep your stories to a minimum. No one wants to know every detail of what you had for dinner last night or what you and your partner did.

5) Taking credit for what you didn’t do – This one is pretty obvious; don’t stab your co-workers in the back.

6) Constantly being negative – Don’t be the one person who always looks at the glass half empty, no one likes that person.

7) Being noisy – That one person who is constantly fidgeting, listening to their music loud, or talking to themselves; no one likes that person.

8) Bad manners – Pretty self explanatory. Go back to what you learned in Kindergarten and remember to say “please” and “thank you”.

9) Being late – Coming to work late every once in a while is fine, but for the most part try to be on time.

10) Being lazy – Handing off work that you should be doing is not okay, unless of course you actually don’t have time. No one likes the lazy person.

11) Always inviting people out – Let’s look back to The Office again. Recall how Michael always asked people to hang out, pretty much all the time? Don’t be that person. Hanging out with co-workers is great, but do it in moderation.

12) Complain about work on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other social media site – Saying that you had a “bad day at work” is one thing, but saying your “boss is evil” or that you “hate your job” is not okay. If your account is private and you haven’t be-befriended any of your co-workers, go ahead. However, there is always a chance that they may see it. If you are friends with anyone from work, avoid this altogether. Tweeting about your amazing margarita the night before, and then coming into work late and a little out of it is not a good sign.

%d bloggers like this: