One-Third Of US Workers Are Older Than Their Boss, Survey Finds

One-third of workers in the United States are now working for someone younger than them according to a recently released CareerBuilder survey. The survey also found that at least 15 percent of those workers have a boss who is 10 years younger then them.

With changing leadership at many of America's companies, a change in work styles, communication, and roles within organizations has been noted. CareerBuilder interviewed managers and workers aged 25 to 34 and then workers aged 55 and older to find distinctions between their work styles.

The study found that younger workers are more likely to leave early from the office but then work more from home thanks to the advent of a connected society. Workers 55 and older, however, stay at work longer and then relax at home.

CareerBuilder breaks down the work habits of both groups as follows:

On a typical workday, a younger worker:

  • Works eight hours or less per day: 64 percent compared with 58 percent of workers 55 or older.
  • Arrives later than 8 am and leaves later than 5:00 pm.
  • Is more likely than workers 55 or older to work after leaving the office: 69 percent versus 62 percent.
  • Believes arriving on time doesn't matter as long as work gets done: 29 percent versus 20 percent.
Workers 55 or older 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.
As expected, most older workers still prefer face-to-face communication with sixty percent of workers preferring non-electronic communication. But 55 percent of workers aged 25 to 34 also prefer face-to-face communication. The same disparity in technology exists for emails and text messaging.

The least used form of communication for both groups however is the telephone, which accounts for 12 percent of communication for older workers and just 10 percent for younger workers.

According to the survey, it appears that younger workers become bosses because they view a job as a way to excel past their peers. Many younger workers will leave a job quickly to take a management position at a company. On the other hand, workers 55 years and older believe they should stay with a company for at least three years, if not longer.

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