Most of us will spend large portions of our lives working, at businesses and companies producing many different goods or services. Attitudes about the workplace, work-life balance, and business can change drastically, depending on where you are and who you are talking to. One factor that accounts for many of these differences is age, especially comparing the so called millennial generation to its predecessors. Globally, millennials have different opinions about the workplace than older generations, generally being more open to new opportunities, expecting flexibility, and hoping for a more engaging work experience.
According to a survey by Deloitte, millennials are much more likely to hold jobs at several companies during their careers, compared to older generations who were more willing to working at one company their entire working lives. Of the 29 countries included in the survey, at least half of millennials in every country do not expect to be working at the same company by 2020. One reason for the increased job movement among young workers is the fact that millennials are much more likely to seek jobs that provide satisfaction and a sense of purpose, along with future career advancement. 89% of millennials said that career advancement opportunities were a very important factor in a job, compared to 73% of Baby Boomers.
In addition to the high standard millennials hold for their respective companies, many also wish for greater flexibility in the workplace. Three fourths of millennials would like to be able to work outside the office, while 88% wish they could have more flexibility deciding when to come and go from work. To attract and keep talent, more businesses are adopting flexible work policies, designed to keep their employees happy. For some businesses, working remotely has allowed for a reduction in office space, while also increasing the company's overall productivity.
Digging deeper, there are also interesting regional differences within the millennial generation. While millennials overall hope for a good work-life balance, optimism differs from country to country. In Japan, an incredible 37% of millennials expect to work until they die, compared to 12% of Americans and 3% of Spaniards. Worldwide, millennials in India are working the most, averaging 52 hours a week, four hours more than the next closest country, Mexico. Meanwhile, in Canada and the United Kingdom, the average is much closer to the traditional 40 hour work week, hovering around 41 hours.
The millennial generation is the future of the business world, and their attitudes about the workplace have already started to impact the way companies function and view their employees. The question will be how, if at all, millennial’s attitudes change as they age, start families, and move into higher level positions. Assuming millennial’s goals stay the same, the future of work could begin to rapidly change as millennials become dominant in the global workforce.