The 'Old Person' Office Habits Gen Z is Cancelling

Known as ‘Zoomers’, new members of the workforce prefer to post frustrations about their life on TikTok, where they can garner sympathy and likes. Workplace solutions expert Adam Butler took a deep dive into the video-sharing platform in an attempt to understand why young people hate some common workplace behaviours. He explained the five most common pet peeves and how they can be addressed.

Making phone calls

@theintrovertedattorney summed up this avoidance in an animated video which quickly went viral and racked up over two million likes.'Outgoing calls are fine 'cause I know what it'll be about. The incoming calls scare the hell out of me ‘cause they could be anything,' one man said.

Mr Butler suggests making your manager aware that this is something you struggle with ‘to allow them to support you by delegating fewer calls to you in the beginning or even providing a script to read off of,' he said.

Being given a Dell laptop

According to some Gen Z’s the laptop you are given says a lot about the workplace - and the worst option is 'Dell'. Corporate TikTokker @Liljehu says if your new employer sends you a Dell then it is a sign 'they are probably experiencing cash flow issues,' he said in a viral video before claiming those sending out MacBooks don't prioritise their spending correctly.

‘My Dell overheats on sleep mode,' one person complained with a third explaining the only way to 'fix a Dell' is to 'not get one'. While this complaint appeared a lot in the comments, Mr Butler said people shouldn't be put off by the equipment supplied by a boss.

Making awkward noises to fill the void

Gen Z has complained about the noise bosses make to fill the void when they are sharing their screen on Zoom. Commenters described the noise as 'choochhhoo' and claimed it was 'a sound every person makes on Zoom when they have no clue what to do’. Mr Butler said, 'Although there's nothing wrong with humming or making sounds, an alternative silence filler is to strike up a conversation. Ask them about their weekend or any plans they have for the evening,' he suggested. However, this tip was mentioned in the video's comments as another 'awkward' technique used by 'older' management or team members.

Long work-related messages

According to Gen Zs on TikTok, all work-related Slacks and texts should be as short as possible, with many suggesting a sentence is enough.  'Do not send me paragraphs, I don't have time to read an essay,' is the message one young boss wants to put out and she is not alone. Another added, ‘anything too long needed to be put in an email instead of clogging up a chat’ and shared her rule: 'Listen - words in chats, sentences in emails, paragraphs in meetings.'

Mr Butler admitted it can be difficult finding the right route here as 'everyone has their preferred method of communication'. 'Work together on deciding what works best,' he suggested.

Friday afternoon meetings

The fifth and final Gen Z pet peeve is the Friday afternoon meeting - but meeting peeves also extend to hour-long meetings that could have been emails and last-minute meetings.' I have a meeting at 2 PM on a Friday. Seriously, who schedules a meeting for Friday afternoon?' one person vented on the matter using Reddit. While others suggest meetings should not be held before 10 am if possible while Friday meetings should never be 'recurring'.

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Gen-Z usually gets a pretty bad reputation. People claim they're self-centred, apathetic and too soft. However, perhaps their new office habits could welcome in a modern, new way of working? Older people tend to be more set in their ways. Perhaps this generations could help them become more flexible, and make the office a more pleasant place to work for everyone? What do you think? 

This article is originally from the Daily Mail, a very popular UK newspaper. News articles, however, can be long and a little tricky to understand. We've shortened the article and highlighted key vocabulary to aid your understanding. What more could you want! 
 

Want to answer some comprehension questions so you can practise talking about this topic? Want this article, the vocabulary, the definitions, and comprehension questions in PDF form? Check out the bonus content!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. garner support/sympathy (verb)

    All the information that we garnered has been kept on file.

  2. pet peeve (noun)

    Grammatical mistakes are his pet peeve.

  3. rack up sth  (verb)

    The company racked up $200 million in losses in two years.

  4. delegate (verb)

    The job had to be delegated to an assistant.

  5. put sm/sth off sth (verb)

    He was put off science by bad teaching.

  6. have no clue (expression)

    I don't have a clue where she lives, you’ll have to look on Google Maps.

  7. strike up a conversation (expression)

    It can be difficult to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger.

  8. clog up sth (verb)

    Don't clog up your mind with useless information.

  9. vent (verb)

    He vented his anger on the referee.

  1. Summarise what Gen-Z are trying to cancel from offices in 2022.

  2. Summarise the 4 pieces of advice that Mr Butler, our expert, gives.

  3. Do you agree or disagree with any of these points? Use the text to explain why.