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Study Finds Millennials and Gen-Z Workers Value Schedule Flexibility as Top Priority

April 11, 2023

By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Virtual PBX Contributor

What do workers really want out of their jobs? Do they want high pay? Opportunities to grow?

It turns out that it depends on which generation of workers you ask. A recent study conducted by workforce scheduling company Shiftboard found that what Millennial and Gen Z Americans want is schedule flexibility. In fact, flexibility was rated as the single highest priority for younger Americans, unlike older workers in the Baby Boom and Gen X generations.


The study entitled, “The State of the Hourly Worker,” noted that Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) and Millennials (born between 1981-1996) are becoming increasingly dominant and important in the labor market, which means its incumbent on employers to offer up what matters to them most if they wish to retain workers who are validated and fully engaged with their jobs. Although Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) still represents a significant portion of the workforce, they will gradually retire or exit the workforce alongside the older generations, Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and Traditionalists (born before 1946).

“With older generations gradually leaving the workforce, employers and managers need to adapt their policies and work culture to accommodate workers’ preferences for flexible scheduling,” said Sterling Wilson, president and CEO of Shiftboard, in a statement. “By doing so, they can ensure better job satisfaction, higher employee retention, and a more engaged workforce.”

Over half of Millennials (51%) and Gen Z (55%) value having control over their work schedule; specifically, being able to change hours on short notice. In contrast, only 42% of Gen X and 37% of Baby Boomers considered control over their schedules a priority.

There are several reasons why younger people may desire greater work flexibility, noted the study’s authors. Younger workers tend to place a greater emphasis on work-life balance. They prioritize spending time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies and interests, or engaging in personal development activities outside of work. Flexible work schedules can help younger workers better balance their work and personal lives.




Edited by Alex Passett

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