Work-life balance is the most important aspect in a job for Millennials. In Germany, 78% of Millennials find a positive work-life balance key. Yet global research by InSites Consulting also shows that Millennials are clearly struggling to find this equilibrium, with 58% of German Millennials stating they are unhappy with their current work-life ratio. This is in line with the European average, where 63% of Millennials are not happy with it. In the US, the amount of unsatisfied Millennial employees is even as high as 71%.
This young generation is coping with the transition from adolescence to adulthood, during which they struggle to combine building a successful career with personal life goals such as buying a house, finding the right partner and starting a family. On top of that, the US Millennial generation is often confronted with student loans, which add to the financial and job-related pressure.
Empty nesters regain balance
Millennials are not the only generation which finds it hard to juggle the demands of work and of their personal life. The preceding Generation X also has a hard time coping with this. 57% of German Generation X is unhappy with their work-life balance. The parents of the Millennial generation, Baby Boomers, currently aged 50 to 70, succeed in retrieving this balance back with 2 in 3 German Baby Boomers not complaining.
The emptying of the nest is one of the key aspects that explain why Baby Boomers are the only generation with a positive work-life balance. This generation regains the balance after the kids have left the house while at the same time reaching a proven track record with their employer. They no longer have to continuously prove themselves at work, feel they attained most of their bucket list wishes and worry less about family and parenting chores. While Gen X and Millennial households are mostly composed of two full-time earners, a substantial number of Baby Boomers opt for a part-time job.
Flexibility and self-control overrule a good pay check
Next to having a positive work-life balance (78%), German Millennials are also in search of job security (77%), a fun working environment (76%) and a good relationship with colleagues (75%). Three out of four youngsters find it important to be responsible for their own agenda. This is even higher on Millennials’ agenda than catching an above-average salary (67%) or attractive extra-legal benefits (54%).
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Flexible work-life schedules and ownership will become increasingly important over the next years, with Generation Z soon entering the job market. Employers will have to rethink their work organization in order to appeal to them. Generation Z is the most independent generation of all, with today – when still going to school – one third stating they want to start their own business, a ratio much higher than with the older generations. As such, companies will need to prepare for a big mentality switch with increased responsibilities and employee independence. The future workforce of intrapreneurs is so keen to do their own thing at their own pace, but many organizations are just not ready for them.
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