Gen X and Gen Y Views on Work – Survey Report

People go to school or learn a trade in order to find an occupation that will provide them with the means to support themselves and their families. The need to work has remained constant throughout time. Some industries remain the same, but many have experienced changes throughout the years. The changing global economy forces industries to adapt to new market demands, and those adjustments are felt all the way at the local level.

Not only is the workplace responsive to global demands, but also to cultural and societal changes. For instance, it is now more acceptable for women to enter the workforce than has cheap water trampoline been in the past. Something else that now needs to be contended with is generational differences. People grew up in different times, and the environment that they grew up influence how they view the world and their place.

At JakPat, we wanted to find out about Gen X and Gen Views on Work. Generation X refers to those between the age of 36-50, and Generation Y between 22-35. These are the survey results we gathered from 618 respondents across Indonesia.


Reputation at Work

There are lots of things that people take with them into a job; one of which is reputation. Typically, when someone starts a new job, he or she starts with a clean slate. This could mean that the new employee may not yet be trusted because it is unclear whether he or she is able to handle certain tasks. On the other hand, a clean slate also means that the employee has the chance to make a good impression.

Reputation is an important capital to people’s career. When asked about how often they think about their reputation, most people say that they think about it frequently (37.7%) or sometimes (28.96%). The older generation thinks about it “all or most of the time” at a greater rate than generation Y (25.70% vs. 20.33%), but this is not a considerable difference.4

That said, there are things that can be done to make or break one’s reputation. Building a good reputation takes time, and ruining one’s reputation can happen easily.5

In terms of building a good reputation, the top three things people can do are to “do a good job” (86.57%), “be polite and courteous” (66.99%), and “be prompt to work, meetings, etc.” (66.67%).

But when looking at the generational perspective, we find that there are some differences in thought.6

Both generations agree that the number one thing in building a good reputation is to do a good job. When it comes to the second best thing, Generation Y says that it is important to “be polite and courteous” (71.54%) followed by “be prompt to work, meetings, etc.” (69.65%). For Generation X, however, it is more important to be prompt (62.25%) than polite and courteous (60.24%). Following that, the younger generation places greater emphasis on relationship-building and networking as a means of building a reputation (42.55% vs. 31.73% for Gen X). Related to this, about 41% of respondents from both generations see “seeking advice or feedback from colleagues” as a positive factor to develop one’s reputation.

Not putting in the effort to perform well, thus “doing a poor job” (80.91%) is the worst thing someone can do to ruin his or her reputation. Most workplaces require employees who are team players so someone who is “not being helpful or collaborative” (62.62%) or says “negative things about their coworkers” (61.49%) does not fit the bill and earns a negative reputation.

One thing that is interesting to note is how timeliness and its role in making or breaking one’s reputation is different across generations. In comparison to the older generation, Generation Y places greater emphasis on promptness for building a positive reputation (69.65% vs. 62.25%) as well as being late for damaging one’s reputation (63.69% vs. 56.63%). What this means is that the younger generation places greater emphasis on timeliness than Generation X.7


Work-Life Balance and Loyalty

Before going into any job, people tend to have expectations about how they will be able to separate their work life and personal life. From this survey, 89.65% of respondents say that “it is realistic to expect that I can balance work and family life” (65.86% strongly agree, 23.79% slightly agree). In a different question, many respondents, in fact 86.57% of respondents say that they have been able to create a work-life balance that has matched or exceeded their expectations. Ideally, what this means is this people are content and satisfied with their work life.8

And to a certain extent, this holds true. Indonesians are optimistic. The vast majority say that they will do much better than their parents’ generation in whatever way each individual defines success.9

For some people, success is defined by financial resources. Nearly 70% agree in varying extent that money is the most important factor in choosing a job. This leads to some people making the decision to work away from home in order to secure better pay.11

In addition, respondents are looking for positions that provide them with opportunities for promotion so that they are not constantly doing the same thing over and over. A promotion usually entails greater pay as well as greater responsibilities and opportunities for growth.13

What this all means is that people exercise self-agency. Nearly 3 in 4 say that they are loyal to their career objectives, so it is no surprise that nearly 70% say that if they are not satisfied with their job, they will quit and find a new one.10

In addition, across generation and gender differences, about half of respondents state that they expect to have more than 10 employers in their working lifetime. This speaks powerfully to the self-agency that respondents can choose to exercise in order to reach their goals and career objectives.3

However, that does not mean that workers are not loyal to the companies they work for. An overwhelming 87.7% say that they are loyal to their company, of which 52.1% strongly agree with that statement.

So with differences in the workplace with respect to generation, how do people feel about working with one another? Respondents do not want to work with people exclusively from their generation; they want to work with others too.12

For more detail you can download XLS report at the button below (bahasa). JAKPAT report consists of 3 parts which are 1) Respondent Profile, 2) Crosstabulation for each question and 3) Raw Data. Respondent profile shows you demographic profiles ( gender,age range, location by province, and monthly spending). Cross tabulation enables you to define different demographic segment preference on each answer.

 You can also download PDF here:


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