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What millennials want: the lessons younger workers can teach us about work-life balance and productivity
Despite having some concerns about future job security, millennials today are showing themselves to be hardworking, driven, and dedicated to effecting positive change at their workplaces and in society as a whole.
Here are some the key things we can learn from younger workers about work-life balance, how to be productive, and happiness.
Work-life balance is key
According to a recent study by PwC, a huge 95% of millennial workers say that work-life balance is valuable to them. For younger people, success and happiness are defined by having autonomy over when and how they work and accumulating life experiences – both of which require having a healthy balance between work time and personal time.
However, over a quarter of millennial respondents said their experience of working life had not met expectations in terms of a healthy balance between work and home life. Employers should, therefore, be wary of creating an unrealistic picture of business during the recruitment process, which can easily lead to dissatisfied employees. Likewise, workers should consider seeking out jobs where they can be recognised for their efforts and results achieved, rather than just the number of hours worked.
Career progression is more important than a big salary
Having the opportunity to progress is the top priority for millennials in the workplace. In the same study by PwC, 52% of people said that career progression was the number one consideration when choosing an employer, ahead of a competitive salary (44%). Similarly, millennials derive satisfaction from face-to-face training such as mentoring initiatives and on-the-job learning.
When it comes to progression, though, millennials don’t just want to “climb the ladder”. They want to feel that the work they do is important and consider a company’s values when looking for a job.
Flexible workplaces have happier workers
Flexible work is of high importance to millennial employees, who rank it as the second-most important benefit an employer can offer (behind training and development). Similarly, millennials want to take advantage of new technologies to be able to work from anywhere, at any time, and have more flexibility in their working hours.
Workplace flexibility is beneficial to businesses as well. A millennial survey by Deloitte found that workers at companies that allow flexible working conditions are more likely to stay with the company longer. They are also two times as likely to say it positively impacts organisational and financial performance and individual well-being than those who don’t. The key takeaway here is that employees having control over their approach to work has a direct impact on satisfaction and productivity.
Millennials feel empowered by contributing to a “good cause”
The same survey by Deloitte also found that contributing to charitable causes and not-for-profit organisations help millennials feel confident that they can influence business and broader society.
However, while charitable activities in the workplace are highly valued, only 54% of younger workers are given the opportunity to take part. This is something both employers and employees should consider because feeling empowered as a result of helping enact social change ultimately leads to a happier, more engaged workforce.
Are you looking for flexibility, autonomy, and valuable experience in a new job? Speak to our recruitment specialists about your job search.