Younger workers are struggling to fit in

Young workers struggle to fit in - Newsreel
Younger workers are struggling to fit in at workplaces spread across multiple generational groups. | Photo: Media Photos (iStock)

Younger employers are having difficulty fitting in at work as employment stretches across more generational groups.

A study by the American Psychological Association (APA) found many young workers felt lonely and not appreciated.

The 18-25 group was also more likely to prefer working with people their own age. Nearly half felt self-conscious about their age at work.

APA Chief Executive Officer Arthur Evans said the findings reinforced the need for employers to invest in strategies to support their worker to “navigate these new norms and evolving professional landscape”.

“With more workers retiring later in life, the demographics of the workplace are changing and younger workers seem to be having the hardest time adjusting,” Dr Evans said.

“At the same time, with increased remote work and the use of new technologies like AI, younger and older workers alike are facing a paradigm shift around where and how we work.”

The 2024 Work in America survey polled 2000 working adults. It found 48 percent of workers aged 18–25 did not believe their ideas were valued by others in the workplace.

“Workers aged 18–25 and 26–43 were also significantly more likely than workers aged 44–57, 58–64 and 65+ to say that they feel more comfortable working with people their own age,” the APA said.

“Nearly three in 10 US workers (29 percent) said that they feel self-conscious about their age at work, including 43 percent of workers aged 18–25.

“There are signs that younger workers may have difficulty connecting with their co-workers on a personal level as well.

“Nearly half of workers aged 18–25 said they feel lonely when they are working, significantly more than workers aged 26–43 (33 percent), 44–57 (22 percent), 58–64 (15 percent) and 65+ (14 percent).”

Younger workers were also more like to say they feel tense or stressed out during their workday.

Sixty-seven percent of workers reported experiencing at least one outcome often associated with workplace burnout in the last month (lack of interest, motivation, or low energy, feeling lonely or isolated and a lack of effort at work).

More details on the APA website.