How Millennials Are Changing the 40 Hour Work Week


The traditional 40-hour work week has been severely disrupted in recent years. This is due to a number of factors, such as businesses cutting back on full-time hours and more people working remotely. Millennials have contributed quite a bit to these changes. It turns out that younger employees have very different preferences and expectations when it comes to their working habits and environment. Let's look at some of the ways that millennials are helping to transform the work week.

Millennials Are Changing The Work Week

A Desire for Flexibility

While most people in the past took it for granted that a job meant working nine-to-five, the millennials, also known as Generation Y, are demanding more flexible alternatives. Compared to earlier generations, these people want a better balance between work and other activities such as school, travel, and leisure time.

Technology and Remote Working

Technology has made it more feasible than ever for employees to work flexible schedules. With the internet, mobile devices, and cloud-sharing sites, it's now possible for many employees to do their work from any location. It's also easy for team members to collaborate and communicate, even if they're miles apart. Young professionals appreciate the freedom that remote working gives them. Among other things, it lets them cut down on commuting time.

A Need for Greater Meaning

Many companies are struggling with the challenge of hold onto their millennial employees. Generation Y workers tend to leave jobs a lot more quickly than their predecessors. Aside from flexibility, millennials value work that gives them a greater sense of purpose. One survey found that the most important factor in determining whether these younger workers stay at a job or not is a cultural fit.

While a sense of purpose and cultural fit are terms that are difficult to define precisely, they both point to the fact that millennials, unlike members of their parents' and grandparents' generations, no longer feel obligated to stay at one job their entire lives. This might also relate to the fact that millennials tend to be well-educated, with a higher percentage likely to have a Bachelor's degree than any other generation. It's likely that more education contributes to a demand for a more meaningful work experience rather than a job where workers simply put in their 40 hours and go home.

Mentoring is Valued Over Traditional Managing

Another area that differentiates millennials is their rejection of traditional boss-employee relationships. Gen Y employees don't want to be in an environment where there's a strict hierarchy and they are expected to obey without question. Rather, they want to feel like they're being taught and nurtured so they can grow and improve themselves.

This preference for mentors over managers actually relates to flexibility. For a strict 40 hour work week is an example of a practice enforced by traditional managers who leave no room for flexible work hours. The idea of mentoring, on the other hand, is more fluid. A mentor is more likely to care more about what an employee learns and what he or she actually accomplishes than the number of hours clocked in.

Finding Employees Who Are a Good Fit

When you're hiring employees, it's important to find people who are a good fit. With millennials in particular, as we've seen, company culture is a major factor. With so many younger people today working at multiple part-time jobs such as coffee barista, substitute teacher, fitness instructor and so forth, how do you make a full-time job appealing to them? A great deal comes down to finding the right match between your company culture and the individual you're hiring. Find millennials who are an ideal fit for your business needs with the help of  Cohesion’s recruiters and staffing specialists.

For more information about our staffing services and how we can help your business, contact us to get started.

John OwensComment