Work-life balance and Generation Z

Holly AbbottUncategorized

tn_z-for-z-dictionary-pageYesterday, we published a post alluding to the apparent tendency among Generation Z-ers to feel that consistently working long hours and enduring high levels of stress was a ‘cool’ thing to do and an indicator of success. Work-life balance is simply a lot less important when a perception of ‘success’ (real or otherwise) work is a key determinant of self-worth.

Today, we’ve found this research that featured a month ago on Mashable UK, from a survey held by the US version of the job site Monster. The most interesting part of the survey is the difference between the priorities of Generation Z-ers and Millennials. Whilst Millennials most valued paid time-off, health insurance and work-life balance, Generation Z-ers prioritise health insurance, a competitive salary, and a boss they respect (the health insurance factor is in there, of course, because it’s a US survey, but don’t discount it as a factor in the UK).

It is possible to argue that for Millennials the question was how much they could pursue a meaningful ‘life’ as well as job. The job was, on balance, a means to an end. For Generation Z, the financial and personal fulfilment of the job is – on balance – more important. Of the Z-ers who responded to the survey, 58% said they were willing to work nights and weekends for a better salary. The article points out that a lot of Z-ers have either only recently entered the workforce, or have not yet entered it all, which effects their perspective. It could be also be added that Millennials are now at the age where they’re moving into their early thirties, an age where family life becomes more important.However, this trend seems to fit with perceptions elsewhere, including first-hand experience.

Perhaps of more significance is the fact that Z-ers prioritise working for someone they respect. This would fit with research elsewhere which suggests that Z-ers want to feel that there is meaning behind their work, personal or otherwise. Although money is a key incentive, making sure they’re working in a fulfilling environment is also very important.

Further information in the survey seems to hint that Generation Z-ers are actually more similar to Baby Boomers and X-ers, preferring job security and a relationship with their manager, perhaps an indication that the experience of the depression is a key driver in outlook.

Whatever the cause, it seems to be the case that Z-ers are working harder and seem destined to work harder than Millennials, and perhaps many other generations. It means working life for all of us is about to change yet again, and even the kind of environments sustained by the likes of Hubspot may begin to appear out of date.