Millennial Myths in the Workplace

Alec Shklyar, Business, MillennialWith today’s access to technology, our ability to research and collect data is at an unprecedented high. Perhaps it is for this reason then that so many movements are so analyzed, subject to perpetual judgments and broadcasted to the world at large. Whereas formerly social movements required time to be reflected upon, it seems they are not retrospectively observed as they happen.

Personally, I think this lack of time for perspective coupled with the immediate publicity that the internet offers results in record numbers of unsubstantiated opinions being presented as stone-cold fact. This sort of misinformation is particularly evident in the perception of Millennials in the workplace. It seems constant false information is being spouted across the nation and then supported with slipshod interpretations of data that’s questionable at best. It’s time we put an end to it.

Here are the three greatest Millennial myths that have managed to persist despite abundant research proving otherwise:

We won’t move out.

We can’t live on our own. We just won’t grow up. I mean, 36% of all Millennials still live with our parents, right?

Wrong. Yes, Millennials are indeed living at home longer than previous generations—but that’s hardly because we are entitled or unwilling to move out on our own. It’s because we’re in school. In fact, only 25% of 25 to 29 year olds live at home. A measly 13% of us in the 30-34 age range live at home. Yet, it is true that an ostensibly impressive 56% of us from 18-25 live at home. However, this tremendous difference has a very simple (albeit unfortunately neglected) explanation: college dormitories are considered to be living at home.

College enrollment rates are at a record high right now. So it only makes sense that if dorms are supposedly “living at home,” then record numbers of Millennials living at home is bound to be at a record high too.

We can’t get a job.

Here’s a headline, Millennial Unemployment: The Crisis the Candidates Ignore. Studies claim that the Millennial unemployment rate is 12.8% (two times the national average)—but again, this number misleadingly represents college students, because it includes them.

39% of 18-24 year olds are still in college, so of course this 12.8% rate being cited is skewed. If you remove 18-24 year olds from the equation, and look at, say, 25-35 year olds, then the rate is 5.2%. Considering the national average is 4.9%, this number is far more reasonable. It is worth noting that it’s true that fewer 18-24 year olds are employed than years past, but, again, this is more than likely because more of us are enrolled in school full-time.

We work from home.

Although, like any generation, there are those who do enjoy working from home, that by no means implies we all want to work from home. In actuality, Randstad and Future Workplace recently did a study and concluded that, potentially surprisingly, 42% of Millennials would rather work in a corporate space. 21% liked working in a co-working space and 20% enjoyed a home office.

Interestingly enough, it does, however, seem that the option to work anywhere matters most than where the work actually gets done. A lack of workplace flexibility is a primary reason Millennials do leave their jobs, and a separate report by the Millennial Branding report concluded that 45% of us will actually opt for workplace flexibility over pay.

The primary takeaway from all these mythical points boils down to one very simple point: validate information. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Just because it’s published by some third party company you have never heard of does not mean it’s credible information. Even if it’s a study, that doesn’t mean the study was carried out with integrity or without leading questions.

We must remember to verify our opinions with reality—not with clickbait headlines we come across when scrolling through our Facebook news-feed.