A newly-released study from Upwork found that 48 percent of younger generation managers (composed of Millennials primarily, with early Gen Z managers included as well) are director-level or higher already, showing they have major influence on workforce planning. This influence will only grow with these younger generations making up 58 percent of the workforce by 2028¹, an increase of 38 percent from today, according to the third annual Future Workforce Report.
This year’s report is the first time Upwork examined the results by generational impacts on the workforce, delving specifically into how younger generations are shaping the future of work.
In today’s always-on workplace, 84 percent of Millennials have reported experiencing burnout at their job. Traditional methods of hiring are no longer providing sufficient relief. In fact, more than two times (42 percent) as many younger gen hiring managers felt hiring had become more difficult than the 18 percent who felt it had gotten easier in the past year. Now in a position of authority and facing this pain, younger generations see the need to rethink how work is done and are taking action.
“As younger generations ascend in the workforce and become the majority of managers in corporate America they’ll reshape work as we know it,” said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork. “We know already that the most in-demand professionals place high value on flexibility. For example, the youngest generations are most likely to freelance. And professionals craving flexibility will increasingly have managers who not only understand this priority but will themselves expect it. We see this clear trend towards more flexible, remote work on the hiring side already based on this year’s Future Workforce Report.”
Younger Generation Managers Are Shaping The Future Of Work
According to the study, younger managers support remote teams as the new norm:
- 69 percent of younger gen managers have team members who are allowed to work remotely.
- Among those that approve remote work options, 74 percent reported having team members who spend a significant portion of their time conducting their jobs remotely, whereas only 58 percent of Baby Boomers have workers who work a significant portion of their time remotely.
- Younger gen managers are 28 percent more likely to utilize remote workers than Baby Boomers, and believe that two out of five full-time employees will work remotely within the next three years.
- By 2028, the study projects that 73 percent of all teams will have remote workers.
They’re prioritizing workforce planning and embracing an agile future:
- Fifty-seven percent of younger gen managers ranked future workforce planning as a top or high priority for their department. They were nearly three times more likely than Baby Boomers to rank it a top priority.
- They are nearly two times more likely than Baby Boomers to have made significant progress in developing a flexible talent strategy as well as in investing in technology to support a remote workforce.
- In fact the study predicts, by 2028, non-traditional, flexible talent (ie. freelancers, temporary and agency workers) will comprise 24 percent more of departmental headcount as compared to today. The results were approximated for future projections based on the current results of the youngest cohort, Gen Z.
“There are a many misconceptions about younger generations in the workforce today,” said Matthew Mottola, Future of Work and On-Demand Talent Program Manager at Microsoft. “We frequently hear things like lazy, entitled job hoppers. But nothing could be further from the truth. In my experience, Millennials are equally, if not more, committed to their work. But we expect more from our company. We expect to architect our careers according to our lifestyle and our passions. With the various opportunities our generation has at their fingertips – freelancing, remote work, entrepreneurship – companies can no longer assume our generation will settle for the status quo. The good news for companies is that if they embrace this agility and flexibility they can drive innovation and change with their organization.”
¹ Based on this current workforce composition and generational projection data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.