By 2020 millennials will make up 46% of the workforce and 75% by 2025; with older generations reaching retirement, companies will have to fill the gaps with millennials. Universum recently surveyed 46,554 students from 329 various US universities and intuitions. Including 1,227 Northeastern University students, to find out what recent college graduates desired in a workplace. The most common career goal among those surveyed was work/life balance.
According to Pew Research Center’s “How Millennial Are You?” test, my millennial score was 87 out of a possible 100. For context members of the Baby Boomer generation were an 11, and Gen Xers a 33. As a millennial myself, I am inclined to disagree with the finding that millennials want work life balance. I think millennials want work life integration.
The 9 to 5 workday is dying, if not already dead. The world of millennials has both expanded and shrunk, in that more things are accessible just at our fingertips. The ever-increasing use of technology has blurred the lines between the workday and personal time in a 24/7 world. Millennials have no problem answering emails from their multitude of devices, almost wherever and whenever. Millennials can be productive while waiting at a stop light or in line for coffee. However the willingness to allow one’s professional life into their personal life comes at a price. In exchange we want flexibility, time for personal pursuits during the day, and the ability to work remotely on occasion.
In the Universum survey, when asked about job characteristics and employer attractiveness, millennials wanted to be able to integrate personal interests into their schedule, have a friendly work environment and flexible working conditions. Millennials overwhelmingly stated that friendships in the work place have a positive impact on boosting motivation and happiness. Gone from millennials is the notion of “work is work”. Work is part of our lives and we want it to be satisfying.