Study: Are Millennials Actually Lazy?

By | August 22, 2016

Are millennials lazy

As someone who entered the workforce in 1980, a time when economic conditions in the United States were, to say the least, soft… 

I can to a certain extent commiserate with today’s millennial workers who may be dealing with an economy and career search environment that’s in a somewhat similar condition.

That said, is there actually a difference in the way Baby Boomers approached and Millennials now approach the process not only of finding work but then in the way that they act once on the job?

From my own personal recollection it all seems very similar. On the job procurement front you have your motivated and aggressive go-getters and then you have those who are willing to sit back, relax and let then job come to them. It was that way in 1980 and it’s no different today.

Once on the job most of the newly employed or the already employed have the same anxiety now that many had back then. Proving to bosses and to management that the job and their upward mobility in the firm is the be-all and end-all of their young lives and that social life and taking vacations is secondary.

And given the facts in the prior paragraph, the study results below regarding millennials and vacation time comes as little surprise.

Project: Time Off: Work Martyr’s

‘…The pressures of American work culture have produced ideal conditions for the rise of the work martyr. Out of all survey respondents, a staggering four in ten (39%) employees say they actually “want to be seen as a work martyr” by their boss. But at home, it is a different story—the overwhelming majority (86%) of employees believe it is a bad thing to be seen as a work martyr by their family.

Not surprisingly, unhappy employees are more likely to buy into work martyr mythology. Forty-seven percent of employees who are unhappy with their job and 46 percent of employees unhappy with their company believe that it is a good thing to be seen as a work martyr by their boss. Those employees who want to be seen as a work martyr by the boss are also more likely to report feeling stressed at work….

The study’s findings:

On the Outs With Out of Office

Ironically, the most connected generation ever is more likely to perceive a culture of silence surrounding vacation in the workplace. Where 65 percent of the overall audience reported their company culture says nothing or sends discouraging or mixed messages about taking time off, seven in ten (70%) Millennials say the same. Though a smaller segment, twice as many Millennials (16%) say they feel disapproval from management about taking vacation than their Boomer colleagues (8%).

Feelings of uncertainty and disapproval are translating to more forfeited vacation time—days that cannot be rolled over, banked for later use, or cashed out. Millennials are the most likely generation to forfeit time off, even though they earn the least amount of vacation days. Twenty-four percent of Millennials either forfeited days or do not even know if they forfeited days last year, compared to just 19 percent of Generation X and 17 percent of Boomers. The forfeited days are made worse given that the majority of Millennials (37%) earn 10 vacation days or less, compared to just 20 percent of Generation X and 18 percent of Boomers…

It’s an interesting study that can be read in its entirety at the Project: Time Off website here.

Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York. He can be reached at or at 516.741.4723.

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