Generation Y – also known as millennials – are fast infiltrating management positions.
Putting work before their personal lives, the struggle of striking a healthy work-life balance has hit hardest with these techno-savvy and ambitious 18 to 33-year-olds.
Quest Staffing Solutions CEO, Kay Vittee says, “What distinguishes millennials from preceding generations is that they are more flexible, creative and independent. Ultimately, they are most willing to make sacrifices to grow their careers.”
Vittee refers to a new study by a global accounting firm, Ernst & Young Global Limited (EY), which found that 62% of millennial full-time employees worldwide fill positions in which they manage the work of others.
This means that generation Y almost occupy the same share as the generation before them, generation X (born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s), of which 65% work full-time as managers.
Vittee says, “The study further highlights that 85% of these millennial managers have advanced into their management position in the past five years and are therefore new to their senior status and responsibility. Nearly one-third of these young managers highlighted that managing their work, family and personal responsibilities has become more difficult over this period with 47% saying that they are now working more hours and 35% noting that they are battling in terms of work-life balance.”
“Having worked tirelessly to be where they are, millennials end up with the pressure not to disappoint which results in them struggling to pay time and attention to anything other their job,” she adds.
Vittee notes that The 2015 Millennial Majority Workforce study also found that millennials are the generation considered best at key skills businesses require to remain agile and innovative.
She says, “Millennials’ advantages over prior generations include the ability to adapt, come up with fresh ideas and keep up-to-date with emerging technology.”
“With the passion and vital skills required for business, a little relaxation will go a long way in allowing millennials to spend time with loved ones, maintain their level of productivity and avoid burning out.”
“As business leaders, all managers - millennials or not - should promote a healthy work-life balance for their employees to feel rested and not stressed or overloaded,” Vittee concludes.
Vittee’s tips on work-life balance:
- Delegating some responsibilities to staff not only frees up a few hours on the schedule but also encourages a culture of skills transfer in an organisation.
- Get into the habit of building downtime into your schedule.
- Be realistic. A last minute request for a five hour job should not ruin one’s Saturday afternoon. If not urgent, it can wait.
- When taking time off work for a weekend, switch off email notifications until you return to the office on Monday morning. If it is undeniably urgent, you will get a phone call.