What millennials can teach you about work-life balance, productivity, and happiness

Millennial workers today are faced with entering the workforce and growing a career in what may seem to be increasingly unstable times. But despite some anxieties around what the future holds, younger employees are proving themselves to be ambitious, hardworking, and optimistic about effecting positive change on businesses and society as a whole.

Here are some of the key lessons we can learn from millennials about work-life balance, how to be productive, and happiness in a modern world.

Work-life balance is a top priority

According to a recent study by PwC, a whopping 95% of millennials say that work-life balance is important to them. For younger workers, success is defined by having control over when and how they work and collecting life experiences – both of which can only be achieved by having a healthy balance between work time and personal time.

For 28% of millennial employees, though, their experience of working life has not met the expectations formed during the recruitment process. As such, employers must be cognisant that creating an unrealistic picture of businesses can easily lead to dissatisfied employees. Similarly, employees should consider seeking out organisations where they can be rewarded by results rather than the number of hours worked.

Opportunities for progression are more important than a big salary

Career progression is the number one priority for millennials in the workplace. In the same study, 52% of the respondents said this was the main motivation for choosing an employer, coming ahead of a competitive salary in second place (44%). Similarly, millennials derive satisfaction from face-to-face training such as on-the-job learning and mentoring.

And when it comes to rising through the ranks, millennials don’t just want to “climb the corporate ladder”. They want to believe in the work they do and take into account a company’s values when looking for a job.

Flexible working practices are linked to improved productivity

Flexible working hours are very important to millennial workers, being ranked as the second-most important benefit an employer can offer (behind training and development). Similarly, millennials are keen to take advantage of new technological capabilities to create more flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere, at any time.

Workplace flexibility isn’t just nice to have for younger workers, either. In fact, a millennial survey by Deloitte found that workers in businesses that offer a high degree of flexibility are more likely to stay with the company longer. Those employed in flexible workplaces are also twice as likely to say it has a positive impact on organisational and financial performance and personal well-being as those who don’t. This just goes to show that employees having autonomy over their approach to work is crucial to satisfaction and productivity.

Contributing to a “good cause” leads to a sense of empowerment

The same survey by Deloitte also found that contributing to “good causes” and not-for-profit organisations helps millennials feel empowered and that they can influence the world around them.

Although contributing to charitable activities in the workplace is highly valued by younger workers, only 54% are provided with the opportunity to do so. This is an important consideration for both businesses and employees alike because feeling empowered as a result of helping enact social change ultimately leads to a happier, more engaged workforce.

Are you looking for a job that offers flexibility, autonomy, and valuable experience? Speak to our recruitment consultants about your job search. 

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