What do Millennials want? A lot more workplace flexibility, according to a new report from Young Invincibles, a non-partisan, non-profit organization working to expand economic opportunity for young adults ages 18 to 34 years. The study authors note that:
The increased digitization of work has created another trend – the rise of teleworking. Over 30 million employees work from home (approximately one out of every five working Americans), and another 63 percent will start by 2018. Teleworking is estimated to save employers thousands of dollars per year. Employees also reap the benefits, saving between $1,600 and $6,800 per year in reduced transportation costs, clothing costs, and more – on top of saving about 15 days per year in reduced commuting time. These savings, along with demonstrated increases in productivity and morale, mean that increased teleworking is sure to be a part of the future of work. Yet positions that allow teleworking are generally the highest paying, with over 75 percent of those working from home earning over $65,000 per year.
The future workplace will require an increasingly educated and skilled workforce with a level of comfort with technology vastly different than previous decades, and capable of adapting to technologies radically different than those which exist today. In some ways, Millennial workers are ready and waiting for these changes.
Specifically, Millennials value work/life balance flexibility over big raises or fancy titles. These workers assume they won’t benefit from pensions or Social Security, so they prefer retirement independence through 401k and similar plans. Millennials are more willing to move for their jobs and want collaborative workplaces with access to great technology.
Work/life balance is an increasing concern for both women and men—and the free market, not federal micromanagement—is the best way to assure the dynamism, flexibility, and productivity Americans want.