On today’s podcast, we talked about the generational differences with work ethic and answering one of the most hard hitting questions: “Why are millennials so lazy?”

You can download this episode from Itunes or Stitcher or listen below.  Check out our breakdown of the conversation.


Category Previous Generations Millennials
Promotion A promotion is based on the amount of time you put in A promotion should be based on your abilities, strengths and your contribution to the organization
Work Schedule Structured 9-5 schedule with compensated overtime No specific work schedule and the ability to leave when work is complete and to do work on off-hours when they are most productive
Work/Life Balance Interest in leaving work at work and home at home Seeking more work/life integration and tend to mix the two
Organization’s Standards Change their needs to meet the company’s Looking for the company to meet their individual needs
Supervisor Boss is respected because of their position Mutual respect when earned


We are not here to stand up for all millennials as there are some bad eggs, as in every generation.  Some people just are lazy and don’t pull their weight at the job.  What we do want to point out is that a lot of millennials do work hard but most likely in the off hours.  They are the ones answering their emails late at night and being productive during their peak times.  On the flip side, they might also be done with their projects by 2 in the afternoon and want to leave making it appear that they are lazy and don’t want to work.

Our advice to overcome the lazy stereotype:

  • If you have an adjusted schedule and can leave, communicate it clearly to your coworkers and don’t just bail.
  • If you don’t and are finished your work at 2pm: ask to help others with a project, work on some professional development, and develop relationships with other teams.
  • Take a coworker to lunch to learn about other departments and upcoming projects you can work on.
  • Schedule an intentional meeting with your supervisor to discuss alternative schedules.  Think about the organization and where you can meet their needs. This conversation is not about demands and about finding a win/win.
  • Be intentional and structure your day to be most productive.  Do your most important work during your peak times and check your email or activities requiring less brain power during your “off” hours.
  • Communicate with your coworkers and supervisor. Ask questions about what needs to be done and how to be successful.

Suggested Resources

7 Guidelines for Landing a Flexible Schedule

Simon Sinek: Millennials in the Workplace

Alissa Carpenter
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