One third of global workers are finding work-life balance unattainable

One third of workers worldwide finding it work-life balance unattainableManaging work-life balance has become more difficult for a third of workers over the last five years, with Millennials most affected. After competitive pay and benefits, nearly three quarters of people questioned in a global poll (74%) felt that being able to work flexibly and still be on track for promotion, and working with colleagues who supported flexibly were the most important considerations when choosing a job. In the countries covered in the research from EY, German and Japanese workers find it hardest to create work-life balance. Globally, around half (46%) of managers are working more than 40 hour weeks and four in 10 say their hours have increased over the past five years. Nearly half of Millennials (47%) report an increase in hours compared to 38 percent for Gen X and 28 percent for Boomers.

The situation is particularly pronounced in the US, where further questions of the 1,200 full-time US workers in the survey, asked what major changes they have made, or would be willing to make, to better manage work-life; as well as topics tied to paid parental leave; and couples’ work schedules by generation.

It found that Millennial parents who are full-time employees are facing increased responsibilities at work and home, such as moving into management and having children before age 30. They are increasing their work hours after becoming parents more than older generations and so are their partners/spouses. They are also seeing more of a backlash in working flexibly than older generations. One striking finding, likely compounded by the lack of a US paid parental leave policy, is that 38 percent of millennials said they would “move to another country with better parental leave benefits.”

Karyn Twaronite, who recently took on a new appointment as EY Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer commented: “As management shifts to younger generations and more women are in the workforce, we wanted to get a pulse on the challenges employees at different companies face by country, generation and more.

“We were especially interested in millennials, who are facing a perfect storm of increased responsibilities by moving into management and becoming parents simultaneously,” Knowing that millennials and parents are under increasing pressure, we wanted to understand what employees seek in a job and why they quit, why they stay and how this differs by generation.”

The online survey of nearly 9,700 full-time workers at companies of varying sizes explored a wide variety of areas including: younger generations moving into management, work-life and economic challenges, workplace flexibility around the globe, plus what employees seek in a job and why they quit. The survey, conducted in the US, Germany, Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil, India and the UK, also includes an analysis of key findings by geography, generation, gender, parental status and managers versus non-managers.

The survey is the second EY has undertaken on generational issues in the workplace. In 2013, EY explored the interplay between generations in the workforce and how companies could maximize performance by actively managing the generational mix. This time, EY wanted to delve into work-life issues, particularly for millennials, to inform companies of the external factors that influence the decisions, ambitions and priorities of full-time workers globally.

For more details on the survey visit:  www.ey.com/globalgenerations.

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