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Millennials Rank This One Reason for Working Higher Than Other Generations

Topics: Work Culture

Why do we work? For starters, most of us need the money. Beyond that, there are plenty of other good reasons to show up to the office each day, including a sense of identity, pride of accomplishment, and feeling that we give back to society. But, as a recent FlexJobs survey shows, some of what motivates us varies by generation. For example, there’s one factor that’s more important to Millennials than all other generations of workers.

millennials and flexibility
Image Credit: Steven Lewis/Unsplash

Why Millennials Work and How They Differ

According to the survey, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers all value “work-life balance, workplace flexibility and salary are their top three factors when evaluating a job prospect.” However, when asked why they work, this is where the rankings begin to differ. A vast majority of Millennials (70 percent) ranked travel as their second reason for working — paying for basic necessities was number one. In comparison, travel only ranked fourth for 60 percent of Gen X respondents and fifth for nearly half of Baby Boomers.

Millennials travel so much that they’ve actually reshaped the travel industry. Not only do they “travel more often than other generations for business (4.7 times each year) and leisure (4.2 times per year),” says The G Brief, but the way they travel is different too. “Millennials want to gain experience, recognition, and value by saving, earning, and learning while traveling.”

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How Millennials Transformed the Modern-Day Workforce

The traditional 9-to-5 work schedule is much less prevalent nowadays, so it’s not uncommon to find an employer that is open to offering a flexible or modified work schedule in today’s job market — and you just might have Millennials to thank for that.

Since 2015, Millennials have surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, so it’s understandable that they’ve had a huge impact on how the modern-day workplace operates. Young tech companies took over the business world during the boom and completely revolutionized the workplace and workforce. This gave way to a more flexible work schedule that went against nearly everything the traditional cookie-cutter ways of generations past — and rightfully so.

Having more flexibility in your career and schedule would mean more free time to do things you want to do, like start a side business, have a life, and travel. Work-life balance finally seems within arm’s reach.

Millennials and Flexibility

Just how serious is flexibility to Millennials? The same survey found that 34 percent of Millennials have quit their jobs because work flexibility was not an option, 14 percent have considered leaving their current positions due to the lack of work flexibility, and 24 percent are actively seeking a new job because of “work flexibility issues.” What’s more, 35 percent of Millennial respondents indicated that they would be willing to take a 10 to 20 percent pay cut in exchange for telecommuting options.

Tell Us What You Think

Did you go from 9-to-5 to a flexible work schedule? If so, share your experience with our community on Twitter, or leave your comment below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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