Millennials and the Evolving Work Schedule

posted on March 28, 2012 in Professional/Career Development

In this great post on Time Magazine’s website, we see a growing recognition in major news sources about Millennial’s role in shaping the work place of the future. It describes how companies, eager to attract Millennial employees, are allowing them to “to work odd hours, telecommute and otherwise tweak the usual 9-to-5 grind.”

The article also points out the interesting trend that many Millennials would take LESS pay to have more flexibility in the workplace. A study by Mom Corps found that “the 18-34 age group is up to three times more likely to give up more than 10 percent of their salary (15 percent among 18-34-year-old workers vs. 5 percent among working adults ages 35+), even though the unemployment rate for young workers is at its worst since 1948 and the highest among all age groups, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

We’ve seen similar research suggesting that a change to flexible work environments can actually bring health benefits to employees. Back in 2006, Best Buy instituted the Results Only Workplace in its offices, which were profiled in this lengthy Business Week article. Results Only Workplace deemed that employees could work whatever hours they chose, as long as they met predetermined goals set by them and their managers. A study released just this month found the employees involved got an additional hour of sleep, improved sleep quality, increased energy levels, and reduced emotional stress.

Has the government caught on to flexible work schedules? In November 2010, Congress passed the Telework Enhancement Act that, according to FCW, requires agencies to set proper policies for government employees to take advantage of telework policies. A year later finds the program meeting spotty success, including a 300% increase in the number of teleworkers at the Library of Congress, according to Wired Workplace.

Do you find the prospect of a more flexible workplace attractive? If such a policy would a company more attractive to work at, let us know in the comments.