Millennials are now dominating the American workplace, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and they’re also working more hours per week than employed Americans of any other generation. More importantly, it’s becoming clear that these Millennial workers are actually changing the way businesses operate — for the better.
According to a recent survey by Ernst and Young’s Global Generation Research, 47% of Millennials are working more hours per week than they worked just five years ago; only 38% of Gen X workers are working more, and only 28% of Baby Boomers are doing so.
As TIME and Medical Daily both report, Millennials are struggling more to manage the responsibilities of work, family, and personal life; for this reason, they’re placing a higher value on flexibility in the workplace.
Although new technology can be seen as a disadvantage — think of your boss sending an email on a Saturday morning and expecting a reply back — it can also allow for more flexibility. Remote work, or telecommuting, is one example of how employers give their workers greater flexibility.
Some employers frown upon the idea of telecommuting, as TIME magazine stated. According to the EandY survey, about one in every six Millennial workers claimed that they suffered “negative consequences” from choosing a flexible job.
But on the other hand, it’s becoming clear that Millennials aren’t too keen on backing down from their requests for more flexibility; Millennials, it appears, are more willing to leave a stable job and look for another if they aren’t satisfied with the demands of a traditional office environment.
Relocating for work isn’t a new trend in the least; data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that since 1980, about 43 million Americans have relocated each year, and about two-thirds of young Americans (ages 18 to 29) state that they have relocated at least once in the past five years.
Medical Daily explains why Millennials might just be driving up this number in future years: flexibility is valued because the work-personal balance has become more difficult in recent years, and it’s more difficult because the cost of living has increased but wages have remained the same.
Millennials have accepted the fact that they’re going to sacrifice family and personal time simply to support themselves financially. Can we really blame them for wanting to choose when and where they do this work?