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  • Young Professionals Increasingly Value Work-Life Balance

    October 10, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    A young professional telecommutes.

    TAGS: surveys, recruiting, nace insights, benefits, retention

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    A rising number of professionals are prioritizing a healthier work-life balance, new research from Robert Half suggests. According to the survey, 74 percent of respondents consider their overall work-life balance as “good” to “excellent.”

    Among younger workers—those ages 18 to 34—76 percent rate their work-life balance as “good” to “excellent,” while nearly 24 percent think it needs improvement or it’s “poor.” The majority in this age group (43 percent) reported having a “good” work-life balance. (See Figure 1.)

    “Overall, our results show that many professionals say they have good work-life balance and it has improved compared to three years ago,” says Luke Stratmann, metro market manager for Robert Half.

    “Businesses realize having a life outside the office is important and are offering options like telecommuting and flexible schedules to recruit and retain workers. Savvy organizations value employee performance and happiness more than when and where work is done.”

    For example, alternative work arrangements deviate from traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. office hours through flexible scheduling, which allows employees to start late and end late, or part-time arrangements to help workers avoid traffic or handle outside responsibilities before or after work. Another trend is telecommuting.

    “With today’s technologies, working from locations other than the office is possible,” notes Stratmann, citing a previous Robert Half survey that found 77 percent of job seekers are more likely to accept a job offer if the option of telecommuting at least some of the time was available.

    These options are having an impact. When employees ages 18 to 34 were asked whether their work-life balance is improving compared to three years ago, 59 percent said it’s getting better, while just 16 percent said it’s getting worse and 25 percent said there has been no change.

    “In today’s tight hiring market, young professionals have choices, and companies are responding by providing perks and benefits that help staff achieve work-life balance,” Stratmann explains. “The fact that 59 percent of employees ages 18 – 34 said their work-life balance has improved from three years ago suggests that employers have made strides.”

    Furthermore, he adds, the fact that 76 percent of these workers rated their work-life balance as “good” or “excellent” suggests most of these professionals are finding time for their personal interests and hobbies while navigating business priorities.

    “In many cases,” Stratmann notes, “younger workers are used to having healthy work-life balance options because companies have really enhanced their offerings in the last few years, following the trend of startups and tech firms.”

    The surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 2,800 workers in 28 U.S. markets and more than 5,500 U.S. leaders across a variety of professional fields. These results are based on responses from more than 750 U.S. workers in office environments, ages 18 to 34.

    Figure 1: Perception of work-life balance among workers ages 18 to 34

    Perception of Overall Work-Life Balance Percentage
    Excellent—It’s right where I want it to be 33 percent
    Good—It’s close to where I want it to be 43 percent
    Fair—It needs improvement 20 percent
    Poor—I don’t have balance 3 percent
    Source: Robert Half