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Workplace Flexibility for Millennials: Appealing to a Valuable New Generation

Author

Tess C. Taylor, PHR, SHRM-CP, CPC

More by Tess
Author

Tess C. Taylor, PHR, SHRM-CP, CPC

More by Tess

Over the last decade, workplace flexibility has become an important focus of many working people — especially millennials, who are now the nation's largest generation in the workforce, according to Pew Research. Millennials are increasingly demanding flexible work schedules to achieve a better work-life balance. These tips can help you create a business that will attract workers from this talented generation.

Understanding Their Fresh Take on Productivity and Career Advancement

PwC's "NextGen: A Global Generational Study" found that millennials have a new approach to workplace productivity and flexibility. This generation does not believe that productivity should be "measured by the number of hours worked at the office" but rather "by the output of the work performed." A Bentley University study indicated that 77 percent of millennials believe that a flexible schedule would make them more productive.

Because they are tethered to technology, millennials naturally gravitate toward remote employment situations. They often want to work from home and have flexible hours to balance their lifestyles; they'd also like to work fewer hours, research indicates. "Fifteen percent of male employees and 21 percent of female employees would give up some of their pay and slow the pace of promotion in their careers in exchange for working fewer hours," the PwC study found.

Top 5 Workplace Flexibility Options Millennials Seek

What does workplace flexibility mean? It can take on a number of different forms, depending on the needs and structure of your small or middle market business. Alternative working arrangements that millennials may enjoy include:

  • Telecommuting: The opportunity to work from home or from a convenient, remote location as needed.
  • Part-time schedule: A scenario in which an employee works fewer set hours, or is allowed to select different hours each week.
  • Flexible schedule: The employee may work full- or part-time, but the hours are based on core times and flexible time bands.
  • Alternative schedule: Working outside the typical nine-to-five schedule, typically to accommodate other responsibilities.
  • Freelance work: Taking on projects as a self-employed individual without being held to a strict schedule.

It's important to note that flexible schedules vary from alternative schedules. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, alternative schedules refer to either compressed or flexible work hours. A flexible schedule allows working people the opportunity to vary the amount of total hours or their scheduled work times.

Appealing to New Talent With Flexible Options

Millennials seek work opportunities with flexibility, which is often viewed as a perk. The future of work is shifting towards alternative schedules that allow employees to focus on their priorities, which in this case is a healthy lifestyle and more time for family and friends.

Evaluate the tasks that employees perform and decide if flexibility can be incorporated into operations. In this way, you may become more appealing to millennial job seekers.