Multi-Generational Workforce has Different Views on Use of Technology

Multiple generations of workers co-existing in today’s labor force have different views on the use of technology and carry stereotypes about their older or younger cohorts, but are in general agreement when it comes to career aspirations, according to a report from CompTIA.

The Millennial generation is now the largest portion of the workforce – approximately 35 percent, or 56 million workers. The nation’s workforce also includes an estimated 53 million Gen Xers and 41 million Baby Boomers.

CompTIA surveyed approximately 1,000 business professionals whose ages span a huge chasm; in some cases, 40 years or more. Some themes, however, are common across generations.

  • 65 percent of all respondents want to achieve financial security.
  • 51 percent was to do work that they feel passionate about.
  • 49 percent would like to achieve a work/life balance.

Yet even with the consensus on career aspirations, the report identifies other areas of conflict and differing opinions among the generations that can have serious management implications for employers.

Millennials embrace technology

A company’s technology capabilities play an important role in attracting the best talent, especially for younger employees. Among Millennials, 71 percent said that the degree to which an organization embraces technology and innovation is a factor in influencing where they work. That compares to 66 percent among Gen Xers and 53 percent for Baby Boomers. When it comes to tech savviness, almost six in 10 Millennial workers give their employer a net positive rating compared to 38 percent of Boomers.

Cloud-based applications continue to make gains

When it comes to the use of software applications for work-related purposes, 51 percent of Millennials report using online/cloud-based tools for word processing and spreadsheets, compared to 33 percent of Baby Boomers. Use of collaboration tools such as Slack and Dropbox is higher among younger workers. Millennials are also looking for the faster implementation of new technologies. Older employees want more of a focus on making existing technologies more user-friendly.

Workplace stereotypes persist

The generations clearly do not view the workplace in the same way. Stereotypes about different generations’ work habits persist. For example, nearly two-thirds of Baby Boomers believe younger workers are not as loyal; and nearly six in 10 said younger workers feel more entitled. Just over half of Millennials think older workers are too rigid and set in their ways. Nearly half of Gen Xers surveyed said older workers are not as skilled when it comes to using technology.

The complete report is available here.