I’M FED up with Gen Y being labelled as the ‘lazy’ generation and reading constant media reports that we work less, expect more, stay at home latter and just generally bludge a whole lot more.
Recent reports say that Gen Y has mastered the art of work/life balance and we spend less time at our desks than other older generations – but the report didn’t touch so much on how much more time we spend connected to our phones, email accounts and lap top computers at home. Gen Y’s are better at utilising technology to work smarter and to work from different locations – but not necessarily to work less.
For some stupid reason, I have my phone set up so it beeps when I get a new email. I thought it would be handy – and it is, especially because I’m juggling quite a few jobs and email tends to be the preferred method of communication between most parties. But as I result, I’m thinking about work when I check my phone in the morning, just before bed, at coffee with friends and so on. It’s definitely not a case of leave your desk, and switching off from your job these days.
Many of us have graduated from uni degrees into a recession, or at least a recession scarred environment. Nearly all the Gen Y’s I know work full time with at least one side job or business, if not part time study as well, or alternatively study full time, work part time plus undertake some form of unpaid work experience to help secure graduate job opportunities.
As for the lazy tag we’ve been struggling to escape – a University of South Australia study demonstrated the same level of desire to work less between all age groups and generations – proving that Gen Y’s have the same view as the Gen X and Baby Boomers in their approach to hours.
I gave my dad a call about this – mainly because as I was growing he was always working ridiculously hard. He actually agreed with the research – when he was 21, he was doing about 42 hours per week, whereas now his apprentices are more likely to do around 38 hours. But he was quick to point out that there’s driven high achievers and less motivated bludgers in every generation, which in my mind is a really valid point.
A few years ago there’s was overwhelming reports on executive stress levels, work related anxiety and how we were working ourselves into the ground – maybe it’s a good thing that Gen Y is apparently leading the race on the work/life balance issue. But that doesn’t change how unfair this hype and label throwing is to our generation – women don’t like being categorised as bad drivers, old people don’t want to be seen as needy, I’m fairly sure there’s some men out there that are fully capable of asking for directions and not all teenagers constantly wear i-pods. So why would we characterise an entire generations of people as lazy?
***Originally published by the Courier Mail