Jersey shores are infamous for being a vacation destination for those that are fans of gym, tan, and laundry. As well as an opportunity for beach goers to “flex” their muscle. It now is also the ideal location to get unsolicited clarity on the views held by today’s millennial workforce. A colleague related to me one day, that while enjoying the luxuries of the shore, he unintentionally was given the purview of the perceptions that millennial employees hold about the concept of set schedules in the workplace. Specifically, that Millennials feel schedules that most organization cling to are archaic and are no longer relevant given the advancement of technology as the catalyst for flexible schedules.
To analyze this millennial perception, I conducted an informal quantitative study leveraging SurveyMonkey and participant pool available on the social media channels of Facebook and LinkedIn. Voluntary participants were prompted with a range of questions to quantify perceptions about “Flex” versus “Standard” schedules. I captured quantitative data with Likert scale questioning.
So, what were the results:
- 66% of respondents were between the age of 20-40 which encompassed the spectrum of Millennials and early Generational Z’s.
- 43% of all participants disagreed when asked if they like having a set schedule which aligned with the 47% that agree that the formal work schedule was outdated.
- 78% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would prefer a “hours per week” requirement, aka flex time, versus a “set schedule.” Similarly, 79% felt that flex time would enable them to balance work and life more effectively.
- When looking beyond the concept of flex versus set, 82% of respondents thought that removing the pressure of a schedule would take their focus off watching the time while 64% felt they would also be more willing to take on new tasks.
Seminal publications on flex schedules substantiate my findings. Joyce, Pabayo, Critchley, and Bambra (2010) found that flex scheduling provides workers more control of their daily activities thus resulting in increased positive effects on health and well-being. Flex time as stated by E. Schmitt in her blog empowers employees to balance all their obligations from philanthropy, child care, and everyday wellness. The concept of employee empowerment and affording an ability to adjust life and work responsibilities sync with the themes identified in my 2017 study on millennial development and succession planning. Moreover, that the results of this simple study may aid in the dissemination of negative perceptions held others about millennial employees and the #LaisseznotLazy movement.
Joyce K, Pabayo R, Critchley JA, Bambra C, Flexible working conditions and their effects on employee health and wellbeing. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD008009. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008009.pub2.
Schmit E., How A Flexible Work Schedule Can Help You Strike the Balance, Forbes 2009, Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/2009/03/16/work-life-flextime-leadership-careers-flexible.html#2fcfe3715246 on 9/10/2018