Friday Findings: Workplace Dynamics

For the first time in modern history, the workforce consists of five different generations with each bringing unique perspectives and skillsets to the office. The result: a dynamic, energetic, and diverse workforce with rapidly changing office cultures and expectations.

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Gen X Bosses
Though much ado has been made about Millennial leaders, everyone’s forgotten middle children, the Gen Xers, are actually leading the charge. They make up 51% of leadership roles globally and bring their own approach to management (CNBC 2018). Always “on”, they tend to favor technology-centric environments, but also foster the opportunity for face-time that older employees favor.

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Times Are a Changin’
Driven primarily by Millennials, the largest generation represented in the workforce, flexible schedules, remote work, and the freedom to choose projects, are becoming more common (Pew Research 2018). Today, 82% of workers want to work from home at least once a week, and gig workers make up nearly 36% of the American workforce (CNBC 2019, Gallup 2018). As a result, technology and the need for flexible work solutions are paramount.

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A Look Ahead
As Gen Z enters the workforce, (the oldest of which is now somewhere around 22, depending who you ask), they’ll bring change, as well. After seeing their Gen X parents and Millennial siblings struggle with the financial crisis, student debt, and company shutdowns, they are the most likely to shun office jobs and might just be the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

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Generational Motivations

  • The Silent Generation: driven by money and respect
  • Baby Boomers: motivated by money, titles, and acknowledgement of their experience
  • Generation X: money-motivated, too, but also the first generation to see value in work-life balance
  • Millennials: crave flexibility, lifelong learning, and jobs they actually like
  • Generation Z: interested in social rewards like mentorship and seek constant feedback over money
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