How younger professionals are driving the flexible working movement. Also featuring some of the latest flexible work news…
Over the weekend, The Independent shared an interesting post titled ‘Young workers are leading the way out of the office.’
It describes some of the current business trends for young professionals both in America and Britain. This includes:
- Changing jobs for improved work-life balance (as opposed to a title change or step up the career ladder).
- Prioritising flexible work opportunities; allowing employees to focus on other needs, such as their children, hobbies, and pets.
- In fact, increasing numbers of employees are actually ‘demanding flexibility’ in their roles.
- Requesting benefits such as paid paternity leave, ‘generous’ holiday allowance, the chance to work remotely, etc.
A mixed response…
Some may perceive this as a push towards less work or softer working lifestyles. However, proponents argue that this approach says ‘I will work harder and/or more’ if you support a more balanced lifestyle.
The article cites a number of reasons why younger employees are driving this work-life balance focus:
- They’ve been born into a highly technological world in which they can see other ways of working rather than staying at one desk for set working hours.
- Other lifestyle choices, such as marrying and babies, are happening later meaning they are ‘more invested’ in their career path by the time they make these decisions and, therefore, know what they want to ask for.
- Millennials represent the first generation to observe large numbers of women, including family members, live professional working lives. Many have also observed the challenges their parents have faced due to ‘inflexible employers or unstable jobs’.
The piece also raises the notion that more flexible work and other work-life balance improvements could benefit all working generations – saying ‘change the system so we can all succeed’.
Also in the flexible working news…
- 1/3 of flexible working requests are denied: a TUC poll has found that more than 1/2 of all UK employees are unable to work on a flexi-time basis and that a 1/3 of requests are being denied. Yet more than 1/4 of professionals (28%) are motivated to look for a new job that offers such working practices.
- An MP suggests employers should have to ‘opt out’ of offering flexible working: MP Helen Whately is attempting to make flexible work the norm for all employers, unless ‘certain conditions are met’ and employers can ‘set out reasons why a job could not be done flexibly’. Whatley’s bill was approved to proceed to a second reading back on the 17th July.
- More than 1/2 of UK employees say flexi work will be the ‘most popular’ employment method in the future: more than 1/3 would also choose to work flexibly rather than receive a pay rise. Almost 1/2 (47%) would already switch to a flexible routine if they knew they would receive regular pay.
- Parents have less than 30 minutes of quality time a day with their children: our last post explored this issue.