The Pandemic & Millennials Are Reframing Work, And Gen X & Boomers Are Grateful

The Pandemic & Millennials Are Reframing Work, And Gen X & Boomers Are Grateful

AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin writes in Forbes on changes in workplace cultures brought upon by the pandemic - and by the preferences of younger workers:

"In those 550+ days [of the pandemic,] new ways of working were discovered and adopted. Zoom-like communication is now part of everyday work, life, and idiom. Fighting morning traffic congestion has been exchanged for morning workouts. Okay, realistically, workouts for a few, perhaps sleeping through former travel times for the rest of us. The phrase, “heading out,” in response to a phone call from a loved one at the end of the day, was replaced with a short walk down the hall from a makeshift home office corner to the family kitchen counter. The norms of work were not just suspended over 550+ days, they changed ...

Despite the work-from-home hype, COVID did not introduce new work values. The pandemic served as a propellant accelerating once nascent values about quality of life and where work fit into our lives to the forefront of employee decision-making. In a 2019 survey, a year before the pandemic, 82% of American Millennials said flexible hours and work from anywhere flexibility was key to their career planning. 

Read Dr. Coughlin's thoughts in full here.