Lazy generation?  No, well-being generation!

In Germany, many young people refuse the forty-hour week. This is not pure hedonism, but a revolt “against a work ethic that makes you sick”, explains the magazine Der Spiegel. The young journalist Lea Schönborn took up her pen to try to explain her generation’s relationship to work:

“Generation Z, which is me and everyone else born since 1995, has, in the labor market, reputation for caring about work-life balance first and foremost.”

Difficult to understand, or at least to accept, for the oldest, who are also the bosses and who have devoted a good part of their life to their career. Moreover, Lea Schönborn has noticed the outraged articles that flourish in the German press on people of her age. It is true, and studies show it, that women in particular and young people want to do without bosses and/or work less and differently: demand for flexible working hours, multiplication of part-time work, refusal of overtime, for example.

However, those in their forties and over are wrong, analyzes Lea Schönborn: the current generation is neither helpless nor lazy. For the previous generation, staying last in the office was a sign of seriousness and professional conscience. For the youngest, it is on the contrary a sign that one is not able to say “no”.

The attitude of young people “simply means that we prioritize our well-being before it’s too late”. And it comes from the simple observation that this generation will not be able to reach the standard of living of their parents. It then becomes absurd to kill oneself on the job. She adds:

“Our values ​​have changed from those of previous generations. We don’t need status symbols, big cars and gigantic suburban mansions. Instead, we want to work less and thus have more time for our future children – or for our afternoon drink. In other words, we want to live in the present. I don’t want to burn myself out for the love of work or to save the world.”

Exhaustion at work, or burn-out, seems all the more absurd when the economic or even climatic prospects do not justify total dedication to work. In this context, “we prefer to be happy now”, argues Lea Schönborn. And if getting along with his boss is not possible, “I will become my own boss. But part-time, concludes Leah.

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