Mobile phones and emails may have become common tools for contact among people but majority of employees, including those of younger generation, still prefer face-to-face communication at work.

As per a survey of employees and managers in the US, 60 per cent of those aged over 55 years preferred face-to-face communications at work. About 55 per cent of those aged 25-34 also liked to follow this route.

Face-to-face communication is followed by emails and text messages as the second preferred option (28 per cent for over 55 year’s age and 35 per cent for aged between 25-34 years).

However, the phone has fallen out of favour for both the age groups and is preferred by 12 per cent of those aged over 55 years, and even lower at 10 per cent for those aged between 25-34 years.

The survey, conducted by research firm Harris Interactive for human capital solutions provider CareerBuilder, covered close to 3,900 employees and about 2,300 hiring managers in the US.

In another interesting finding, the survey results showed that one third of the US employees have a younger boss and around one-in-seven employees have a boss at least ten years younger.

“A new generation of professionals entering the management roles means the correlation between seniority and leadership could be disappearing,” the survey found.

While 34 per cent of the US employees said their boss is younger than they are, 15 per cent said they work for someone who is at least ten years younger.

While most employees said it is not difficult to work for a younger boss, differences in work styles, communication and expectations illustrate the changing nature of office life.

The nationwide survey further found that younger employees tend to view a career path with a “seize any opportunity” mindset, while older employees are more likely to place value in loyalty and putting in the years before advancement.

Surprisingly, more than half of younger employees said that one should stay in a job for at least three years, while the view was shared by 62 per cent of those aged over 55 years.

Among younger employees, 47 per cent favoured staying in a job until he or she learns enough to move ahead, 61 per cent favoured getting promoted every 2-3 years if doing a good job.

Also, the younger employees are more likely to log shorter hours than employees 55 and older, but are also more open to flexible work schedules than their older counterparts.

There was one area where older and younger employees are on the same footing, as 60 per cent of both groups prefer eating alone during lunch hour, as opposed to dining with their co-employees.

(This article was published on September 18, 2012)
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