Return to Office Hits a Snag: Young Resisters | The New York Times via Boston. com

Workforce Trends

There has been much interest in understanding worker sentiment, values, and preferences by generational category. Most recently, this article notes that 55 percent of Millennials (born 1981 thru 1996) have more concerns about returning to the office than other worker generations. But with the workforce being so complex, are generational categorizations less relevant and too broad to understand the workforce? A report based on the scientific literature shows individuals from the same generation are just as likely to differ from each other as individuals from different generations; differences among worker preferences are more likely to reflect “differences in their ages, career stages, job experiences, and general changes in society and work conditions, rather than their generations.” A study by Columbia Business School found that an individuals’ work preferences are strongly related to the economic environment in which they came of age instead of their generation (e.g., those who come of age in an economic downturn might place a higher value on compensation for years to come). And since generational timeframes span too large of a time period, it can overlook significant variation in shared macroeconomic conditions among group members. Both references provide insights into the multi-faceted and complex factors that influence worker preferences.

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