Work life balanceThere was a time (it still happens) in the world of banking and in some other professional industries, that bigger pay rises and bigger bonuses seem to be paid to those that sacrifice more of their personal lives for work.

Previously, several generations ago, it was different still with very regulated work hours and no expectation that you’d come in early, stay late or heavens’ above, work on the weekend.

No, I can confirm, it’s no longer your Father’s firm. They used to all come home by six way back then. Today’s worker is a different species altogether.

It’s messy. Technology has blurred the lines between the work-day and playtime. (Even I’m typing this blog on a Sunday night). We can’t resist checking our emails, all day every day. Many of us have our mobile phones next to our beds and it’s the first thing we do when we wake and the last thing we do before we sleep. (What’s happened to the cup of hot cocoa)?

Never mind. Researchers at the London Business School and the University of Southern California have found that 71% of young employees feel that workplace demands interfere with their personal lives. 41% say that they prefer to be rewarded or recognised for their work at least monthly – annual bonuses and pay rises don’t resonate with this generation. 38% can’t see themselves working at the same place in nine years time. ‘We want everything now’ said one member of the study.

But what’s everything?

It’s job flexibility and opportunities for training and mobility. More frequent feedback and rewards. ‘People from my generation expect their company to give them time to have a personal life’.

And the younger worker wants the firm they’re working at to represent their values. They are quick to react negatively to any perceived disconnect between the firm’s words and its actions. If they don’t believe in a company they’ll leave it.

For an employer, this makes recruitment tricky. The candidate knows who they are and what they want from their employer and from their role. They keep a beady eye on the integrity of the firm.

It might have been ‘easier’ in Dad’s day. He went to work at 9am and came home by 6pm. The lack of technology ensured he wasn’t ‘on call’ 24/7’. He was pleased to progress up the career ladder, have his fortnight’s holiday and a small bonus at Christmas.

His son or daughter traded the quiet life for the high life-the big bonuses and the adrenalin fuelled buzz of working every hour possible. Some are still at it.

This newer generation probably has it just about right.

For further information contact Melvin Day at

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