Millennials and Work-Life Balance
In 2018, millennials became the largest generation in the Canadian workforce — comprising 35 percent of the total — thereby solidifying their influence on today’s workplace. As first-generation digital natives, this group came of age as technology transformed from something fixed to an entirely mobile tool.
Clearly, the most tech-savvy generation to date, this superior technological proficiency and the ease of connection it enables, saw the millennials’ concept of work fundamentally shift from a specific place to really any connected space. In turn, this development inspired millennials to dramatically reformulate how they define and measure job satisfaction as compared to their predecessors.
The Big Shift
The realigned attitudes embraced by millennials have already significantly shaped the current workplace as well as strongly impelling how it will look by 2025 — when millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce. As these younger workers reject the once standard nine-to-five model in favour of non-traditional roles (i.e. contract, consultant, remote or freelance), the makeup of the workforce will, by necessity, continue to adapt to accommodate their vision and expectations.
What employers project the non-traditional share of the employment landscape will be in 2025
Contingent, contract, consultant
Virtual or remote worker
Notably, millennials are particularly invested in the pursuit of work-life balance. As such, they highly value the flexibility to prioritize whatever aspect — be it work or life — that requires attention on a given day. Generally speaking, millennials seek to dispense with non-negotiable boundaries between work and life in the belief that a more holistic, fluid approach promotes greater productivity and less stress.
Core Factors Millennials Consider when Assessing Work-Life Balance
Office Flexibility That Works
Millennials have largely rejected the confines of the typical office environment. The traditional office, along with a physical commute and the expectation that one will be continually sitting at a desk for eight hours, has become a seriously outdated concept for most. An astounding 70 percent of millennial employees in Canada report that they would rather telecommute or otherwise work in non-traditional settings.
While this may be interpreted as millennials being eager to escape the office, it actually demonstrates their familiarity and comfort with the tools that allow them to do so without impacting their overall effectiveness. With cloud-based software enabling collaboration across multiple locations, removing the obligation to work in a single location actually improves productivity and allows for better work-life balance.
As reported by the 2016 Millennial Survey by Deloitte, millennials are less-invested in working to simply acquire more and instead value experiences over possessions. Nearly 17 percent of millennials assess career opportunities to determine if the position allows good work-life balance eclipsing the 13.4 percent who specifically look for opportunities to progress. Millennials equate success with controlling how and when they work along with the ability to integrate various life experiences as this enables better work-life balance
With access to technology that enables them to seamlessly work 24/7 remotely — which 75 percent of millennials want more opportunities to do — millennials are invested in exploiting their tech know-how and new technological capabilities to increase flexibility. This greater degree of flexibility translates to improved work-life balance.
According to EY’s Global Generation Research, almost a third of millennials report that juggling work, family, and personal responsibilities have become more challenging over the past five years. Nearly 50 percent of millennial managers around the globe reported spending more time working as many are transitioning into senior management roles but also starting families. As well, they are almost twice as likely to have a spouse or partner who works at full-time than baby boomers (78 percent versus 47 percent).
Non-conformists though they may be, millennials are nevertheless navigating the stage of life that sees them marrying, buying homes, and having children at the same time their careers are becoming more demanding. While they are equipped to work 24/7, and for many are required to do so, it’s no mystery why millennials value work-life balance higher than all other job characteristics including the opportunity for advancement, progression, available technology and even a sense of meaning at work.
Getting with the Millennial Program
Millennials have now inched past other generations to corner the largest share of the labour market. Add to that the fact that Canada’s workforce is shrinking overall, and you have a situation where the struggle to hire and retain good workers is only getting harder. Appealing to millennials will require adaptation, and that means embracing an employment model that is flexible and agile as well as it is meaningful.
At a time when work is done anywhere, anytime, 24/7 and even globally, today’s ideal office space is a flexible environment that is supported by the latest technology and allows workers to connect and collaborate with like-minded professionals in accommodating shared spaces. As the concept of work continues to evolve, coworking is a chance to be part of something significant.
You can discover an exceptional coworking office experience at The Professional Centre (TPC), the Toronto coworking space where more is standard. If you’d like more information on how our shared office space can work for your business, call The Professional Centre today at 416-367-1055 or contact us.