Article: Travel is a big reason why Millennials work: Report

Life @ Work

Travel is a big reason why Millennials work: Report

A recent survey shows interesting trends for different generation of workers on matters of workplace flexibility, work-life balance and salary.
Travel is a big reason why Millennials work: Report

A survey by the job search site FlexJobs reveals that travel is the second-most important motivation millennials have to work. The survey shows interesting trends for different generation of workers on matters of workplace flexibility, work-life balance and salary.

What is the survey?

A survey conducted by the job search site FlexJobs asked questions about workplace flexibility and preferences from around 3,000 respondents, of which 678 were millennials, 1,358 were from GenerationX and 845 were baby boomers. The survey was a part of their 5th Annual Super Survey on professionals seeking flexible work.

What were the results?

  • After ‘basic necessities’ (88%), millennials chose ‘travel’ as their second biggest reason for seeking flexible work options. 70% of the millennials said that the desire to travel is a ‘primary reason to work’. 60% of GenX respondents ranked travel as the fourth-most important; 47% of the baby boomers chose travel as the fifth-most important for working. 

  • 84% of the millennials chose work-life balance as the most important factor while evaluating a job prospect, 82% cite work flexibility (as compared to 81% gen x and 79% baby boomers).
  • 34% of millennials admitted to leaving a job because it did not have work flexibility; 14% have considered leaving a job for the same and 24% are currently looking for a new one because of the same. 

  • 82% of the millennials said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options; 60% said that they would be more productive at their home as opposed to in an office; 35% said that they would be willing to take a 10-20% cut in their salary for the same and 22% would be okay with working for more hours. 

  • The pay rates were very similar for a flexible job and a traditional job, whether the flexibility offered was telecommuting or flexible scheduling. 

  • Although millennials are by default associated with being open to freelancing more than other generations, 42% of the millennials were open to take up a freelancing position, as opposed to 47% of gen x and 44% of baby boomers. 

  • All three generations effectively use social media while looking for new jobs, with LinkedIn being the primary medium, and Facebook a far second. 

  • None of the generations chose the office during traditional hours as their location of choice for maximum productivity.

What do the results imply?

The results show that millennials clearly have different priorities than their predecessors have had. Travel coming in right after ‘basic necessities’ indicates to the increased demand for having flexibility in working. However, Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs explains, “’s not so much that they want their jobs to include travel such as traditional business trips to meet clients. It’s that they want to be able to travel and still do their jobs.”

The results also reveal that organisations are increasingly providing flexibility in work to their employees by offering different choices and combinations between 100% or partial telecommuting, flexible scheduling, part-timing, freelancing etc. The fact that all three generations did not choose office as their preferred location for being most productive also indicates to an evolving work culture, wherein flexibility will play a very important role. FlexJobs also created a roundup of sample flexible work policies to show companies how others have included flexibility in their culture. 

But, the biggest implication is for the employers, who need to attract talent today and in the future. The results not only enlist the several positive effects of providing flexibility in work on employee behaviour, but also describe the benefits to employers. These include reduced turnover, improved productivity, reduced operating costs etc. 

The Bottom-Line

Millennials are set to become the largest part of the global workforce in the near future and as a direct result, will decide and design how work is done. Employers will have to take into account their preferences and priorities, and strike a balance in personal and professional development to benefit both. However, if one thing is clear, it is the fact that the millennials have organisations confused like no other generation, and a conscious effort will be required to fully understand and build their potential. And if that means allowing them to work from outside of office on a regular basis – from home, from the road or even another city – so be it!

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Topics: Life @ Work, Culture

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