Have you ever had the sneaking suspicion that certain age groups are lazier than others in the workplace? Well, according to new research from CV-Library, millennials are most likely to slack off in the workplace, with one in three (33.3%) saying that they still manage to deliver great results.
What’s more, a further (and very confident) 73% believe that they’re successful in their professional lives.
Our study, which surveyed 2,000 UK professionals, found that a whopping 44.6% of millennials admit to slacking off at work; far higher than any other generation.
Gen X are the least likely to slack off (27.6%), with Baby Boomers following closely behind, at 31.7%. Interestingly, 31.6% of Gen Z professionals admit to being lazy in the workplace.
Are millennials really lazier?
Millennials were asked to reveal their top reasons for slacking off in the workplace. The key findings include:
- Lack of motivation (55.6%)
- Not being challenged (44.4%)
- Boredom (37.8%)
- Achieved as much as they can already (20%)
- Don’t like their job (13.3%)
As the survey results show, millennials cite ‘lack of motivation’ and ‘not being challenged’ as their primary reasons for being lazy at work. This could be due to younger people generally occupying lower-level positions as they start out and progress in their career. As such, laziness may be attributed to seniority rather than age.
What’s more, it’s long been debated whether millennials are really that different from other generations. Who’s to say that Gen X and Baby Boomers didn’t share the same attitudes as millennials when they were young? As we get older, it’s natural to develop a greater maturity which benefits us in the workplace.
What’s causing the rise in laziness among younger generations?
Interestingly, millennials are the most likely to get away with slacking off in the workplace. Almost a third (30.3%) claim they can get away with being lazy compared to 17.8% of Gen X. What’s more, their attitude was most likely to relax after a promotion, at 27.9%, in comparison to 14.7% of Gen X workers.
While millennials appear to be getting away with doing less in the workplace, this could be down to an increase in flexible and remote working over the years; meaning professionals can’t be monitored as closely by employers.
However, this isn’t to say that this attitude is sustainable in the workplace. While it’s wholly positive for employers to offer remote working as an option, it makes sense that they’ll assign people they know to be trustworthy to these positions. As such, sooner or later work-shirkers may find that laziness comes back to bite them.
But just how can you avoid slacking off and appearing lazy at work? Here are a few ways you can avoid laziness in your workplace.
1) Take the initiative
Perhaps you have lots of ideas and dreams but have never got around to making them a reality? It’s easy to get stuck in the routine of focusing on your daily tasks, forgetting to set aside time for creativity. So be wary, because monotony is a sure-fire motivation killer.
A study found that the most creative time of the day is mid-morning, between 10am-11.30. So, as your brain’s waking up, get your tedious chores out the way. That way, you can set aside some time to do something which excites you. You’ll avoid laziness and might even score points with your boss for executing a new idea.
2) Avoid procrastination
We’ve all got tasks that we delay doing because we dislike them; or maybe they just bore us. You’ve probably become an expert at making excuses on why you can’t start on them right now. Yet, you know the old saying – there’s no time like the present.
Make yourself a coffee, plug your earphones in and do what you need to do to get in the zone. Once you get going, it will only become easier from there. One small step is all it takes!
What’s more, leaving tasks to the last minute is a recipe for disaster. You’ll lose valuable time for proof-reading your task and the quality of your work will slip. Throw away the excuses and get started on your ‘power-hour’ of work.
3) Set yourself goals
Coming back to the point above, your job satisfaction is important. So, don’t forget to set yourself goals for personal development. These should be goals which help you improve your skillset and value in the workplace. For example, you might seek further training in order to secure a promotion.
Set up meetings with your manager to track your progress; being held accountable will increase the likelihood of sticking to your goal and give you direction. Your goals should be a mix of short-term and long-term, to continually motivate you and banish laziness.
What’s more, setting targets for yourself, whether daily or weekly, is an excellent way to keep motivated too. After all, you’re more likely to work harder if you have a goal to aim for!
4) Take breaks
Taking more breaks might sound counterproductive at first, but it will fend off drowsiness and boredom. It’s impossible to solidly concentrate throughout the day, especially when you’re sat down facing a screen for hours on end.
Schedule breaks into your working day to keep you from burning out and feeling lazy. This could be anything from getting up to make yourself a coffee, to taking a short walk around the block. You’ll return to your desk feeling re-energised and focused for the rest of the day.
However, don’t get silly with the amount of breaks you’re taking, as this could trigger suspicion from your boss. Take them as and when they’re needed, or you’ll only add to your reputation as a work-shirker!
What if you can’t stop yourself from slacking off at work?
If none of these tips are working for you, a career move might be the only feasible option. It’s your responsibility to take ownership of your career, so don’t hang about if you find your laziness becoming a regular occurrence.
Alternatively, there may be some underlying issues affecting you in your personal life. Lack of sleep, too much sleep, a poor diet or mental health problems all play a part in determining our energy. Always put your wellbeing first and don’t wait around for the problem to spiral out of your control.