Baby Boomers, people born between 1945 and 1960, lived in a difficult time. World War II was economically difficult for the country, then the U.S. went into the Korean War, then Vietnam. This generation grew up in hardships. Employment was stability, especially for the breadwinners, the men. They worked long hours to be successful, not really thinking about work-life balance as we do today.
Every Generation Thinks About Work-Life Balance Differently.
Gen-Xers, born between the years of 1961 and 1980, grew up with fathers who prioritized work. This gave them a different emphasis. The Gen-X generation uses their vacation time and PTO. It’s probably this generation that paved the way for extended parent leave for new mothers and fathers. Work-life balance is more important for Gen-Xers.
Don’t Stereotype Millennials
It’s often thought that millennials, those born between 1981 and 2000, don’t have a work ethic, but that’s not always the case. Although many companies try to connect with millennials by offering perks like game rooms and free coffee, millennials really want a career that supports their outside life. They want a good work-life balance, but many are struggling under heavy student loan debt and soaring housing costs.
What’s an Employer to Do?
Work-life balance isn’t just about balancing the hours you spend at work and spend at home. It’s about creating a culture that improves the workplace experience and lets employees go home at night free to live a life. People aren’t just working for a paycheck, but for satisfaction that they’re making a difference in the world.
Even though generational differences define work-life balance differently, leaders and managers can update a business culture to improve working conditions and improve productivity. It’s something to think about. When employees are happier, they work harder and don’t quit.
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