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Office Perks Sparking Tension Between Older & Younger Generation Of Workers

By David Wade, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – There is a battle brewing in many offices today, as older workers get frustrated with the demands of younger workers.

An extensive coffee bar, open work spaces, and a deck with a view of Boston: those are a few of the amenities Catalina, a marketing firm, is planning when it moves from Quincy to Boston’s Innovation District.

Today, Catalina has a Fusbol table and many workers wear shorts, even when it isn’t Casual Friday.

Marketing Vice President John Caron knows he needs to court younger workers.

“Younger workers bring an incredible amount of energy,’ he said.

Younger workers today aren’t enticed with money alone.

“You’ve got to think about more than the paycheck, because it goes way beyond that,” explained Caron.

Newly hired business analyst Stefan Maryniak likes the other things Catalina offered him, such as flex time and the ability to work from home.

“I am not just a machine that arrives at 9 and leaves at 5,” said the Generation Y worker. “I am a human being that has a life outside.”

More companies are finding that to attract young talent, they have to adapt to these new workers, not the other way around.

Maryniak said older workers shouldn’t get mad at younger workers. They should expect more from their employers.

Casual open offices with games seems crazy to older workers who feel they had to pay their dues.

Derek Scott, a software manager and former Marine, sees a lot of young workers who act entitled.

“They expect instant gratification,” he said.

Professor Paula Gutlove of Simmons College believes organizations need to manage this generational rift so it doesn’t become a major point of tension.

“So you don’t have haves and have-nots, but you have the whole organization changing.”

It is estimated by the year 2020, 40 percent of workers will be from Gen Y.

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