Survey looks at the difference in work styles of younger, older workers

December 16, 2012 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Online job website CareerBuilder conducted a national survey between May 14 and June 4, polling more than 3,800 full-time workers and more than 2,200 hiring managers across industries and functions. Managers and workers ages 25 to 34 and managers and workers 55 and older were surveyed to get a picture of how the styles of the two groups differ.

“Age disparities in the office are perhaps more diverse now than they’ve ever been,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “It’s not uncommon to see 30-year-olds managing 50-year-olds or 65-year-olds mentoring 22-year-olds. While the tenets of successful management are consistent across generations, there are subtle differences in work habits and views that all workers must empathize with when working with or managing someone who’s much different in age.”

The survey revealed that 34% of U.S. workers say their boss is younger than they are, and 15% say they work for someone who is at least 10 years younger. The survey also concluded that younger workers:

  • Work eight hours or less per day — 64 percent compared with 58 percent of workers 55 or older.
  • Arrive later than 8 a.m. and leaves later than 5:00 p.m.
  • Are more likely than workers 55 or older to work after leaving the office — 69 percent versus 62 percent.
  • Believe arriving on time doesn’t matter as long as work gets done — 29 percent versus 20 percent.

The survey revealed that workers who are 55 and older tend to have a more direct approach to working on projects than their younger counterparts:

  • Sixty-six percent prefer to jump right into executing workplace projects, compared with 52 percent of workers ages 25 to 34.
  • Only 35 percent of workers 55 or older write out a detailed plan before acting, compared with 48 percent of workers ages 25 to 34.



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