CBRE Research: Millennials more similar to previous generations than advertised

Newsroom 12/01/2017 | 16:45

A recent report from CBRE Research, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, suggests that the stereotypes about millenials would make them seem entitled, flighty and never fully committed.

Contrary to their reputations as non-committed to their jobs, the report, entitled Millennials: Myths and Realities, finds that millennials are more similar to previous generations than has been advertised, especially regarding their work ethics and expectations.

The report, which presents data from 7,000 CBRE staff members and 13,000 millennials from 12 countries, finds that while much has been made of millennials’ supposed tendency to switch employers, the majority (62 percent) would rather change jobs as infrequently as possible.

The same goes for the supposition that millennials expect to start at the top, as opposed to starting from the bottom. According to the CBRE report, around two-thirds consider the chance to develop new skills a major factor in choosing a new job, willing to spend extra-hours at work and their own money on training.

Employers also believe that millenials want more collaborative, flexible work office environments. As the CBRE report says, “millennials do not emerge from the womb desiring collaborative working environments. Like other generations, they are heavily influenced by their personal experiences, and by the ‘cultural context’ of their workplace.”

More generally, millennials appear to highly value the quality of their workspaces, as almsot 70 percent of those surveyed in the CBRE report say they would make various trade-offs to have a better workspace. In some cases, those trade-offs were significant. For example, 7 percent said they would take a modest pay cut in exchange for a better office environment, while 8 percent said they would compromise their promotion prospects and 23 percent said they would move to a smaller or less well-known company.

One millennial stereotype that appears to be true is the generation’s preference for urban centers. Some 75 percent of millennials surveyed work in large towns or cities, while less than 10 percent work in business parks or rural areas.

Georgiana Bendre

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