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How are Millennials Evolving the Definition of a Work-life Balance

Millennials often get harsh criticism for being lazy or spending too much time looking at computer screens, but that is not necessarily the case. The younger generation does work hard, they have a slightly different outlook on life, and this may be rubbing off on older generations. This involves working hard on your personal life and not just what earns you money. Also, the emphasis is on working smarter instead of harder. There are many ways this has helped mature workers find a better balance and a happier life.

The loyalty of the Baby Boomers

For baby boomers and generations near them, it was the norm to stay with one company for your whole career or a long time, and it was a badge of honour to have been with one company and never had a day off. As the job market has changed, so have the preferences of workers today. The average time spent working for a single employer is down to less than five years, and more surprisingly the average time spent in one career has come down. This shows that the younger workforce is keen to have variety and are willing to try different career choices until they find one they like.

Having a varied approach to what job you will do can drastically increase your finances, as being willing to take a risk, can pay dividends. This approach has been taken on by older generations as we see more and more return to education to further their prospects.

Personal Space

Millennials, although stereotyped as being lazier than older generations, are the most proactive in maintaining their gardens and homes. This is another pointer that lets us know these younger generations care more about where and how they live than they have done previously. Another indicator is the cars they drive, many of the younger generations choose economical cars over badge names and horsepower. Choosing cars which are cheap to run and maintain frees up money for improving homes and helps keep ongoing costs low and means you can manage the car with little effort. Many mature car owners will opt for larger vehicles which can do long distances but cost much more to run and typically need more effort.

Many baby boomers believe owning a home before retiring is a necessity, whereas millennials often have no desire to tie themselves down with mortgages, so they prefer to rent. Using rental property means there is no deposit to save for which will give them money to spend on what they like and also they can leave the family home sooner.

Through renting the property, as opposed to purchasing, a younger worker has more freedom to relocate and move as they wish to improve their personal spaces. The rental commitment is usually a year or less so they are not held back. This, for older people with mortgages, can seem too much effort.

A Happy Balance

In the last few generations, there has been a significant emphasis on having a work-life balance, which traditionally meant you make sure you don’t spend all your time at work. The millennials are changing this to say you enjoy your work and you can integrate it into your typical day. As many work opportunities are done from a laptop or phone, it is possible to spend core hours at the office and be able to react when you are not. Being able to integrate your work around daily life helps tremendously for families with young children or for workers who live further away. A flexible work environment is also good for increasing output within the company.

A happy balance is not the same formula for every person. Some will find it better to work from home or perhaps work fewer hours. For others, it will be working hard for a short period then taking time off to travel or work in other areas. There are many benefits companies offer which may include paternity leave, childcare and flexible working hours which helps many with a young family have both the time with their family and focus on improving the company. Many of these benefits have come in part from the young workers demanding more than just employment.

The influence of millennials on the working culture all around the world cannot be underestimated and opting to find the best work-life balance along with the constant need for personal development is something that, perhaps, most of us should be striving for.