Millennials the most fickle generation at work

When it comes to friendships at work, it seems there are significant generational differences – and ‘millennials’ are both the most open about their personal lives, and stab a workmate in the back.

Professional social networking site LinkedIn surveyed more than 11,500 full-time professionals in 14 countries, including over 1,000 from Australia.

The resulting Relationships@Work study found that although good workplace relationships were seen as important across the board, the youngest generation in the workforce are more willing to sacrifice friendships to climb the career ladder. Indeed, only 20 per cent of millennials said they would not sacrifice a workplace friendship for a promotion, compared to 63 per cent of baby boomers.

However, nearly half (46 percent) of all professionals agreed that friendships with colleagues make them happier at work.

“The relationships we have at work can have a huge impact on our enjoyment, longevity and success at the office,” Sally-Anne Blanshard, Director and Coach, Nourish Coaching agreed.

Other notable findings from the study included:

  • 1 in 4 (25 per cent) of millennials believe that socialising with work colleagues will help them move up the career ladder, compared with less than 2 per cent of baby boomers
  • Over half (53 per cent) of Australian respondents said they would sacrifice a friendship with a work colleague if it meant they would receive a promotion.
  • More than any other age group millennials reported that friendships in the workplace impact them in a positive way, making them feel happy (62 per cent), motivated (45 per cent) and productive (37 per cent).
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of workers ages 55-65, said that friendships with colleagues have no bearing on their work performance.
  • Nearly one third of all millennials are more likely to discuss their salary with co-workers at work, compared to less than one fifth of baby boomers (18 per cent), and well as being more likely to discuss personal health and family issues with their work colleagues than baby boomers.

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