Growing up, I was intrigued by the idea of working a 9-5, and watching my parents and other adults put on fancy suits and leave home for work felt very “adult-like”. I couldn’t wait till I could come of age to also step out into the world wearing fancy suits, engaging in fancy work lingo and making money. This was until I actually became an adult and realized I wanted more out of my work life; than to wear fancy suits in a stifling work environment, all to make money at the expense of my physical and mental health. I wanted not just “work-life balance” but balance in my work life. And it turns out that so many other Millenials and Gen-Z around the world are fast embracing “The Future of Work” as a lifestyle.
The future of work which includes remote work and hybrid work models were once ideologies that seemed far-fetched. In this part of the world, the idea that people could work from remote locations and be productive seemed like a ruse put forward by the “lazy youth” to avoid doing the actual work. However, thanks to companies like Fiverr, remote job offers became available to people from around the world, and many millennials and Gen Z started to try out remote work. But the idea of hybrid work models still seemed like something reserved for the distant future until Covid 19 made it our reality.
In April, LinkedIn dropped a report on the future of work. The research polled over 5,000 workers and asked them a series of questions on the priorities of the post-COVID workplace. LinkedIn was particularly interested in learning: What parts of work are more significant now post- COVID? And how does this concern differ among generations?
By analyzing the infographic, It looks like LinkedIn handed five categories to survey participants and asked them whether each category was more important (or not) post-COVID. Basically, they were asking, “now that you’ve gone through a year of lockdown, do you care more about this topic than you did before?”
LinkedIn then stack-ranked the findings depending on the percentage of participants who considered one thing as more important than another. As you can see, the order was as follows:
- Hours/Location flexibility
- Work-life balance
- Benefits (Healthcare, paid time off, etc.)
- Workplace culture
The two generations that leaned more towards the categories of Hours/Location and Work-life balance are the Millennials and Gen-Z. More statistic shows that Generation Z will soon make up the majority of the workforce, and they want a hybrid approach to work. 74% of Generation Z would prefer to work from home or split their time between home and work (Salesforce). For millennials and Gen-Z, the focus is no longer on survival but on living a better life. A better work-life, which includes flexible work hours and location and a more conducive work environment.
If you’re a Millennial CEO and are wondering just how beneficial is it to embrace the future of work, Here are some of the benefits that these modish work models offer:
- Increased Productivity: Despite many employers’ concerns about the potential loss of productivity in work-from-home environments, many find the opposite to be true. Workers can create a comfortable and distraction-free environment at home. This is most likely to be a better productive workplace than the typical office. The hybrid work is said to be the best of both worlds. As it combines the improved productivity of remote workers with the superior in-person collaboration and communication of physical office spaces.
- Improved Employee Satisfaction: One of the most desirable offerings you can present to your employees and job prospects is a better work-life balance. A hybrid work style allows employees additional flexibility in terms of when and where they can work. Giving your employees flexibility boosts their job satisfaction. As a result, employee happiness improves, staff turnover decreases, and you have a workforce that is highly motivated to assist your company in reaching its objectives.
- Talent Pool: Employers can select “the best of the best” when they hire remotely. Some companies can hire workers from anywhere in the world, whilst others need employees to be in a specific region or time zone. However, if the post is offered as an in-office position, there will very definitely be a wider pool of candidates.
- Less Office Space: One of the most obvious advantages of remote/hybrid work for employers is that they will need to spend less – or no – money on office space. Renting or purchasing office space is expensive, but it is not the only cost associated with having an in-house office. Electricity and water bills, as well as Wi-Fi costs, must be considered. This means that the savings on office space can be enormous; and, of course, every expense cut is added to company’s profits!
- Get Work Done Around The Clock: One of the major advantages is that work can be done around the clock – not only during office hours in the place where your company is located. This is ideal for firms with a big customer service base that need constant online availability. Having correspondents in major time zones means that someone is always available to answer questions and fix problems.
The benefits above don’t apply to employers alone, employees also benefit as well. Other benefits for employees include; Better Mental Health, Cost Savings, Flexible Schedule, and a Healthier Work-Life. It’s not hard to see why Millenials and Generation Z prefer this work lifestyle and are pushing for it to become the norm.
The fact that I’m able to write this blog post from the comfort of my bed at 4 am WAT is a testament to the reason why a Millennial like myself is keen on balance in work-life. I would love it if employers in this part of the world considered auditing their business models to accommodate the future of work. I believe it will have a positive impact on the current rate of unemployment which would, in turn, boost the economy. If you are a Millennial or Gen-Z, we would love to hear your opinion. Do you agree that companies in our home country Nigeria need to get with the times and create more flexible work options? Please let us know in the comment section below.
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