Demographics paint a picture of a workforce in search of flexibility. Career Flexibility and There are a myriad number of ways the generations can learn from each other.
The Families and Work Institute Weighs In on Generations X and Y
Boomers were almost twice as likely to be work-centric (defined as "putting work before your family"), compared with only 13 percent of Generations X and Y. The remaining 87% per Gen X and Y are either family-centric ("putting family before work") or dual-centric ("placing the same priority on family and work"). (FWI)
The younger generations value personally challenging and interesting work over compensation. "Both men and women of these generations are working hard and hesitate to climb the corporate ladder because they don't see how it allows them to maintain their dual-centric values," says Ellen Galinsky of Families and Work Institute.
Many Gen Xers and Gen Yers, while passionate about their careers, won’t sacrifice family and leisure for their career, according to the book When Generations Collide, by Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman. Many men in Generations X and Y say they are less inclined than boomers to compete on the corporate ladder if the cost to their family and personal lives is too high. (FWI)
All segments, however, are requesting flexibility in the way they work.
Boomers Search for Part-Time
A Merrill Lynch survey indicated 16 percent of the baby boomer workforce is looking for part-time work, and 42 percent will only take jobs that will allow them periods off for leisure.
Mid- Career Professionals Value Flexibility
A majority of each of the age groups/generations reported that having access to flexible work options contributes to their overall quality of life “to a great extent.” Employees between the ages of 36-52 were the most likely to indicate that workplace flexibility contributes to their success as an employee. Sloan Center on Aging and Work 2009
Time is Currency to Generations Y/Millennials
Flexibility and Choice: What Business Leaders Need to Know to Connect Across Generations in the Workplace, a report from Deloitte, notes that “although many of the leaders in our organization have a stay-at-home partner and a single-minded focus on work, only a small proportion of today’s younger workforce places a primary focus on work.”
Boomers and Gen Y: Transfer of Knowledge
Cisco Systems, the US maker of communications equipment maker, has connected its “legacy leaders network” for pre-retirement boomers with its “new hire network” to encourage a transfer of knowledge. It reports widespread interest in the initiative and says it has been useful for recruiting Generation Ys.