Twentysomethings have always rolled their eyes at the habits of their elders, says Emma Goldberg in The New York Times. But according to employers, “there’s a new boldness in the way Gen Z dictates taste”. Suddenly Gen Z workers are calling the shots, and their millennial bosses are terrified.
At one retail business in New York, young employees demanded paid time off for “anxiety” days and “period cramps”. At a supplement company, a Gen Z worker questioned why she was expected to work an eight-hour day when she could finish her to-do list by the afternoon. And at a biotech venture, entry-level staff started delegating their tasks to the company’s founder.
In every case managers had no idea how to reply. “These younger generations are cracking the code and they’re like, ‘Hey guys, turns out we don’t have to do it like these old people tell us we have to do it,’” said Colin Guinn, the 41-year-old co-founder of Hangar Technology. “‘We can actually do whatever we want and be just as successful.’ And us old people are like, ‘What is going on?’” Another millennial boss, Andy Dunn, is taking a more resigned approach. “I feel very sure that I’m uncool,” said the 42-year-old co-founder of clothing brand Bonobos. “I’ve come to accept that.”
It’s not that deep, folks
I’m sick of the “intellectual aggrandisement of pop culture”, says Janan Ganesh in the Financial Times. TV shows like The Wire, The Sopranos and now Succession are puffed up as “art”. Mindless superhero fare is “parsed as though Verdi had made it”. Now the sci-fi blockbuster Dune is being described as some sort of intellectual masterpiece. I know what’s behind this silly trend – more and more people going to university. As a result we have “a large slice of society that has been drilled in a certain kind of conceptual waffle”.