For millennials, leisure more vital than work – Times of India

For millennials, leisure more vital than work - Times of India


MUMBAI: The importance of work relative to leisure is declining across generations. The richer a country gets, the more its citizens report that life outside of work is of greater importance than their jobs, finds a study by Bain & Company.
The average Indian millennial (born between 1981 and 1996) today scores roughly 35% higher than their American counterparts on one measure — the importance of leisure relative to work. Indians of the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) scored roughly 15% higher on this metric when they were the same age as today’s millennials.
Globally, across generations, the importance of work relative to leisure has declined, with the exception of Gen Xers in Western markets where this generation was hit particularly hard by the financial crisis in terms of disruption to home ownership and careers. The same effect is, however, not visible among Indian Gen Xers.
James Root, a partner and co-chair of Bain Futures, said, “As with many other things, we expect the pandemic will accelerate this trend. Up to 66% of the Indian workers we surveyed reported that the pandemic has led them to reconsider their work-life balance. Part of this is about the high levels of stress created by the rapid adjustment to working from home, for which many do not have suitable living arrangements. Part of this is simply the fact that the loss of loved ones often causes us to reassess our priorities in life.”
The study — which surveyed 20,000 workers globally (2,000 in India) — underscores the fact that the pandemic has triggered lasting changes when it comes to work. The survey said 58% of workers across 10 major economies feel the pandemic has forced them to rethink the balance between their work and their personal lives. Root said businesses should be ready for a changing mindset among their workers.
“Demands for greater flexibility and improved work-life balance are only going to keep rising. Firms are also going to need to get a lot smarter at helping their workers tailor their careers in a way that feels personally meaningful to them. The hard part is that not everybody finds meaning the same way in their jobs. For some, it’s about a sense of giving back. For others, it’s about the feeling of mastering a craft. For others still, it’s the pride of building something of their own. Business leaders that want to stay ahead are going to need to get creative about carving out opportunities for these things,” said Root.
Titan Company head (HR – retail & corporate) Priya Mathilakath said, “In the wake of ‘the great resignation’, the perspectives shared by the younger generations about the path they want to follow is rooted in the idea of flexibility and choices — flexibility at work, choices on the type of work they do. This is leading to the rise of gig working. Quality of job & the roles that they do impacts their decision. They are seeking roles that give them greater responsibility, empowerment, authority, autonomy, flexibility, agility, work-life balance & wealth creation. This is the digital generation.”
Alkem Laboratories president & global head (HR) Rajorshi Ganguli said, “Often we hear about work-life balance — this concept talks about a state where work and life (or leisure, personal space) coexist and yet each one prospers separately. As we move forward and more so after the pandemic, people are looking forward to ‘work-life integration’ which is beyond just work-life balance. It is all about intertwining work and leisure in a way that every moment becomes enjoyable and one gets a feeling of high energy at all times. If one has achieved work-life integration, one would not differentiate much between so-called work time and personal time. Rather, they would have the flexibility to decide the best time for both work and leisure during the day or in a given period and it need not be sequential. Employees would like to choose when they would like to work and unwind without compromising any of these.”
Ganguli said the Gen Zs now entering the workforce look for work-life integration in comparison to their millennial counterpart who was fine with work-life balance. “In the organisational context, to achieve this, one would need to look for ways to make the work interesting, meaningful and provide flexibility to employees to pursue their interests and unwind in a manner that work-life integration is possible,” said Ganguli.
Mathilakath said the previous generations, on the other hand, have been wired differently. “This is also because of the events that shaped their lives like the end of the cold war, rise of personal computing and rise & development of the media. In a way, their aspirations were more tuned towards job stability and looked at reducing their debt while building a stable saving plan for the future. Their decisions today are perhaps rooted in some of these values,” she added.
“Organisations like ours provide a wider spectrum of businesses, from mature businesses to startup businesses, which appeals to all generations — millennials & Gen Zs looking for the startup experience of ‘big fish in a small pond’. We have our new businesses like accessories, Indian ethnic wear & international business divisions to offer them,” said Mathilakath.


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