Boomer corporate culture: 5 traits we need to end

Maga Blanco
8 min readJun 5


I joined the workforce not too long ago. I started working in a corporate setting in 2019 after freelancing as a designer for several years. Since then, I feel like things have changed, and some have improved really quickly due to the pandemic.

However, I have been surrounded by corporate culture all my life because my mom worked in public entities her entire career. So, even though I have seen some improvements, I still notice many flaws that trace back to that time. I believe we should work on addressing these issues to make corporate life healthier and more humane.

Disclaimer: Before my boss reads this and contemplates firing me, I want to clarify that many of these situations are occurring in general and have caught my attention while discussing them with colleagues from various locations.

Some of the following may seem obvious to some, but believe me, many boomers and even millennials still normalize many of this conducts and may not even realise why they are wrong, limits are sometimes very thin.

1. The belief that your position makes you a superior being

I'm starting off strong with this one, and I know what you might be thinking, but NO, having someone in a higher position than you DOES NOT make them superior to you, at least not in real life. Let me explain:

Yes, most of us have bosses, but that doesn't mean they're better, smarter, or more important than us. Having a boss or being a boss simply means they have bigger responsibilities. They are in charge of a team and should delegate based on their experience to make better choices and achieve better results. Bosses are supposed to lead, not play as demigods. Unfortunately, I've experienced disrespectful, rude, and overall nasty behavior coming from grown and much older people (mostly men) without any valid reason, other than actually believing they are better than everyone else and that subordinates should accept abuse silently just because they hold the paycheck.

Being a decent human being comes with no fancy job titles, and it’s what truly gives value to a person. Respecting one another is the number one basic rule in life, and it’s alarmingly often dismissed in corporate settings. If we want committed employees, we need to start by ensuring the basics: human decency.

2. Basing all decisions on experience and “instinct”

I don’t even want to get started on this one. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing or a personal trait, but when I make a decision, I want it to be a well-founded and logical one, based on research, knowledge, or something more than just my mere opinion. This becomes even more important when it comes to investing significant time, money, and effort into something.

However, I've witnessed many higher-ups making decisions solely based on their desire to “become the next Google” or because they think that's how things are supposed to be, simply because they "just know". Many times, they disregard the expert opinions of their own employees, who have spent years studying their respective fields and were hired precisely for that expertise. Ironically, these same people often demand others to support their choices, but it feels like they only hire people to tell them they're right.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that many business-related choices come from instinct, and there’s never a 100% certainty when setting the course of a company. However, I believe there are many things we could do to make smarter choices and rely less on guesswork.

3. Not recognizing or encourage effort

This one might be controversial, and I’ll do my best to explain my point because we are walking on thin ice here. Let’s see how it goes:

Yes, I know we are hired to accomplish a different set of tasks and always deliver the best results. However, it’s disheartening to see many people who don’t even put in the bare minimum effort and still receive the same rewards as those who take their job seriously and actively work on improving every day. These individuals go beyond the call of duty, investing extra hours, and enduring stressful situations just to help the company. Yet, there is no acknowledgment or reward for their efforts. The message is clear: your effort doesn’t matter.

What’s even worse is when the reward comes in the form of free pizza when we all know the motivation behind having a job is to get the bills paid and enjoy life with the money left. Boomers often forget why we are here in the first place. The days of “we are like a family” are gone. My family is at home waiting for me, and I believe my generation, in particular, has a deep understanding of what’s truly important in this short life we have, which is far removed from fulfilling our bosses’ expectations.

4. Being oblivious to basic limits

This is something that truly gets me passionate: you don’t have to call me on my personal phone. The chances of a scenario where someone from work needs to call you on your personal phone are about 0.1%, and don’t even get me started on WhatsApp. I understand that boomers come from a time when phone calls were the primary means of communication, but times have changed. If you’re not paying my phone bill or providing me with a corporate phone, there’s absolutely no way I’m picking up that call.

If you’re working remotely, you need to invest in communication tools like Slack or other workplace chat apps. You should understand that work-life is just a part of my life, and I often prefer not to mix the two.

In addition to obnoxious and unnecessary calls, I’d like to address the belief that if you don’t willingly give extra hours to your work, you’re not “committed.” I’m sorry, but you hired me for 45 hours a week. If that’s not enough for you, perhaps you should review the contract and align it with your actual needs. I’m not obligated to give more hours than what I signed up for, and I believe in maintaining a healthy work-life balance

5. Thinking that working a “9–5” is going to assure results

I’m not sure if I named this correctly, but essentially what I’m trying to convey is that expecting results solely by adhering to a strict 9–5 schedule is outdated. With the right motivation, I could accomplish the same amount of work in 3 hours. For example, having more free time to enjoy my personal life, receiving bonuses, extra paid time off, the option to work remotely, or having flexible schedules can greatly enhance productivity.

Some boomers might consider this notion nonsense and argue that they are already paying us to work in as little time as possible. However, we are humans, and our minds don’t operate that way. If you expect me to work excessively hard all the time in order to achieve every goal as quickly as possible, you are deluding yourself. That kind of pace is not sustainable and would only lead to burnout.

Finally, I want to wrap up this article on a positive note by sharing four valuable lessons I’ve personally learned from boomers:

#1 Experience is truly invaluable 🧐

I know I mentioned earlier that experience shouldn’t be the only factor in decision-making, but let me be clear — I never meant to downplay its importance. Boomers have been around much longer than I have, and they have firsthand witnessed some of the most significant changes in the world. They have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge, faced numerous challenges, and come out on top. They bring structure to processes and aren’t afraid to make tough decisions when needed. Their experience is a valuable asset that we can all learn from.

#2 Commitment 🤝

Millennials tend to job hop very often. We don’t really grow fond of jobs and are more interested in benefits and bigger compensation than loyalty to a company that often sees us as mere numbers. It may seem contradictory, but the commitment and loyalty boomers show to their jobs, working for years and years at the same place, is something I admire.

I believe that if you genuinely want to make an impact and see the outcome of your efforts within a company, you need to stay for a while and observe. Working in the same place for several years can help you develop new approaches to tackle recurring problems, optimize your workflow, forge meaningful connections with coworkers, and provide stability. Despite that, I would love to feel like the company values me enough for us to grow together, and, of course, that recognition is related to compensation.

#3 Confidence 😎

I believe this is a natural result of having so many years of experience, but I think we can learn a lot, or at least get inspired, by how Baby Boomers, even when facing difficulty with new technologies, rely on their skills and knowledge to confidently stand up to any challenge. They are certainly not afraid to ask questions and are often eager to learn new things and stay updated.

#4 Political relationships 😌

Boomers understand the importance of building strategic connections with coworkers. I’m not saying they are fake or that they are fair-weather friends; I’m just saying they grasp the concept of corporate relationships that go beyond personal preferences. They understand the significance of networking, a skill that I find to be crucial in today’s world.

To wrap this up and as a final thought, I don't want this to come across as if I dislike Boomers. In fact, Boomers are the reason I have a job right now and can be independent. I simply wanted to highlight areas where I believe we can improve to create healthier and more productive workplaces. I genuinely believe that happier environments yield better results, which ultimately translates into the success of the company. We just need to align ourselves and learn from one another.

(Also, boomer or millenial, I would love to read your opinion on this! So, please leave a comment if you will.)



Maga Blanco

Aspiring Product Designer, enjoying one day at a time.