Things just aren’t what they used to be. The kids working today just don’t have the same work ethic. Oh wait. That’s what every generation says about the one that comes after it. And now you’re saying it about millennials in the workplace.
Besides, people aren’t the only thing to change since the so-called "good ol’ days." Technology has changed too. While this is obvious to most, it’s worth pointing out because it directly contributes to our next claim. And it can be helpful in understanding what makes millenials tick so we can sort out how to attract and retain them.
Key To A Millennial's Heart: Work Schedule
With the rise of smartphones, cloud computing, and the widespread availability of Wi-Fi, Gen Y struggles more and more to see the rationale behind locking people into a room together on a set schedule. Hence, one of their must-haves for work satisfaction is now flexible work hours.
Conferencing tool experts PGi offered up an infographic called "When It Comes to Business, Does Father Still Know Best" to lay it all out:
- 37% of millennials would take a pay cut if it meant flexibility in work locations and hours
- 74% of U.S. workers want to work from home, at least part-time
- 67% believe they will work on more flexible schedules in the future
- 81% of millennials think they should set their own schedules, versus 69% of Boomers
The data is a year and a half old now, and the stats about technology have presumably changed in that time. But beliefs tend to shift more slowly, so it’s a safe bet the numbers about work schedule flexibility are still in the right ballpark.
The Not-So-Traditional Generation
When millennials look for jobs, the number on their paycheck isn’t necessarily the primary factor in their decision. Even more than salary, they value the ability to have what the previous generation did not: the flexibility to get other things done during business hours. Working with them to define their work schedules lets them escape the traditional 9-to-5 workday and will boost their engagement.
More Flexibility Creates Better Work
A flexible work schedule can help boost productivity. Not everyone is at their best first thing in the morning—some do better later in the day. Or distributing work throughout the day and taking extended breaks is helpful. Creating the opportunity for your staff to define their own hours can result in better work.
Things definitely aren’t what they used to be. But the kids today might just be onto something. Flexible work schedules are the new normal, and you'd be missing out on higher productivity and better quality if your organization doesn't give it a try.