Are Younger Managers More Open to Virtual Offices?

NEW YORK—The correlation between seniority and leadership could be disappearing as a new generation of professionals enters management. So says a workplace survey from CareerBuilder. What implications does this have for telecommuting from a virtual office in New York or any other city?

Thirty-four percent of U.S. workers say their boss is younger than they are and 15 percent say they work for someone who is at least 10 years younger. While most workers said it isn’t difficult to work for a younger boss, differences in work styles, communication and expectations illustrate the changing nature of office life. And that's where the virtual office question comes in.

“Age disparities in the office are perhaps more diverse now than they’ve ever been. It’s not uncommon to see 30-year-olds managing 50-year-olds or 65-year-olds mentoring 22-year-olds,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.

“While the tenants of successful management are consistent across generations, there are subtle differences in work habits and views that all workers must empathize with when working with or managing someone who’s much different in age.”

The three big areas where generational differences manifest are communication, work style and career advancement. Older hiring managers are more likely to arrive to work earlier than younger managers but less likely to take work home with them to a virtual office. Younger workers are more open to flexible work schedules than their older counterparts.

What does this mean for virtual offices? It would seem to point to more tolerance among younger managers to allow telecommuting from a virtual office in New York or beyond. Younger managers, too, may do more work from virtual offices as they model the workshifting way.


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