Years working, that is
We received several direct messages with interesting opinions and thoughts which are published here anonymously.
The work issues confronting both employees and employers of four generations will continue to evolve. Business owners will continue to struggle with how to best run a business and keep good employees. It is a fact that some jobs require people to be present, and work as a collaborative team, face to face. There are many, though, that do not. It may be a result of the pandemic that some people's mindsets are more open to a new work dynamic. Gen-Zs will inform the decisions that need to be made, and the work world we know will be better for it.
It is not an issue of making work easier. It is an issue of realizing a better lifestyle. The work must be done, and it might not be easy. It is also possible, and necessary, to keep a workforce interested in doing things that need to be done. For some it is money, others it is accomplishment. There is room for all types of people with a variety of motivations.
The point regarding being a healthy Baby Boomer was that it was different than the prior generation, and the generation before that. This gives credence to the notion that a Gen-Zer, in this case, could well be productive into the late their 60's and 70's. Accordingly, this would validate, even justify taking time away from a career while young to maintain a fulfilling lifestyle, rather than slaving for 40 years only to retire when so much life has passed by. It is the core rationale for having a 60-year work-life: Take time now to have a life because you will be more than able to continue working productively well past the current average retirement age of 62.
The following are a collection of responses, categorized by generation, addressing their thoughts on the workplace changes, how it has changed, and what will likely remain the same.
Baby Boomer, University Professor, Marketing Communications
I would add to the article's conclusions that Gen-Z is befuddled by what they perceive as the arcane rules of today's workplace. The workplace for them will be far more collaborative and will strike a compromise between "work" and "life". However, for many years there will continue to be a generational clash in which Gen-Z will realize that as long as Millennials, Gen-X and Boomers are in the workplace, there will be healthy competition, unhealthy backstabbing, and a mandatory requirement to excel in one's role. For Gen-Z to succeed in this environment, they will have to learn to navigate the sins and bad habits of their older workmates or be left behind. We've all been sabotaged by "someone else's agenda," and I don't see this changing any time in the near future. Yes, the workplace will change - and most likely for the better - but beware the inevitable landmines!
Gen-X in Senior Management, Print Graphics Manufacturing
We are having a very hard time with Gen-Zs as their idea of work-life balance is very different from my generation and older. It amazes me how they (Gen-Z) are willing to leave a job without having an offer from anywhere else. I am also amazed by their seemingly lack awareness of the corporate culture. We move very quick, and they take time off at the worst possible times and are completely inaccessible.
Don't get me wrong, my work-life is out of balance, and I envy their ability to take a break as I am not able to. I just don't know how, as a country, we can continue to be leaders with a generation of workers whom have the work ethic of the French....
So, in short, I have not figured it out yet. Of course, you can find people of that generation who have the same work ethic as older generations, but it is not a sustainable way to hire.
Gen-Y (Millennial) CEO of Global Enterprise
Very relevant thoughts in today's times while we are dealing with current workforce issues. And I also foresee that the Gen-Z is more focused, creative, and competitive. They understand that one who is productive and can contribute to every aspect of life be it business or family will only be respected and valued. We will again see a paradigm shift.
Gen-Z just graduated, starting first job
You talk about baby boomers and reaching a healthy happy lifestyle at 60-70. The problem you don’t address is that a lot of Gen-Z don’t feel that is realistic for them or see a path to that. Lots of us don’t feel that we see much progress being made in those 40 work years towards a reasonable retirement at the end of it all.
Gen-Z experiences in their first job
I have never thought before about the 60-years career argument you used to justify why we wish these perks. It is interesting, and considering that we are currently seeing our parents complaining about their full-time boring jobs and unable to fully enjoy their retirement, which might be (the) truth in some percentage.
But in the end, the truth is just that we perceive work in a very different way. We do not want to submit to the old-fashioned conditions of a traditional job. We know that there are other ways to do a job and we are reclaiming that.
I think that one of the most difficult things to do is to be able to change the already rooted and settled structures of your business, right? I saw that on my last boss. A stubborn brain is hard to change. This pandemic has changed our mindsets and, at the same time, proved that remote opportunities and flexibility are possible.
Most people, I think, see these "demands" as laziness or utopia. Probably in the future, the working life will be easier and healthier for most employees because we will change how the world perceives and offers jobs. Or maybe I am just being naive.
INKISH is covering the Gen-Z phenomenons: the Great Resignation and the Great Attraction. Stay tuned for more insights on the future of the workplace.