FlexJobs Reports: Millennials’ Interest in Travel and Work Flexibility Higher than Gen X and Boomers

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15 Percent of Millennials Identify as Digital Nomads, Cite Travel as a Primary Reason to Work

"Since millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor workforce, it's critical that companies pay attention to how, where and when they work best," said Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs

According to FlexJobs’ survey, travel is a surprisingly popular motivator for why people work: 70 percent of millennials say the desire to travel is a primary reason to work, second only to paying for basic necessities (88 percent). Gen X respondents ranked travel (60 percent) as the fourth most important reason for working, and boomers ranked travel (47 percent) fifth in importance. 15 percent of millennials in the survey identified as digital nomads/travelers, compared to 11 percent of gen X and 8 percent of boomers.

While work-life balance, workplace flexibility, and salary are the top three factors the three generations consider when evaluating a job prospect, rankings vary: 82 percent of millennials cite work flexibility as a factor compared to 81 percent of gen X and 79 percent of boomers. Work schedule was also more important to millennials (65 percent), whereas only 57 percent of gen X and 62 percent of boomers said it was a consideration.

“Since millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor workforce, it’s critical that companies pay attention to how, where and when they work best,” said Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “82 percent of millennials said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options and nearly a quarter would be willing to work more hours. So offering millennials work flexibility isn’t just a strategy to avoid negative consequences like losing talent--employers have a lot to gain by modifying their strict, traditional, office-based model of working.”

Other findings include:

Millennials Place High Value on Work Flexibility
Millennials place an extremely high value on work flexibility:

  • Work-life balance (84%) was ranked the most important factor when evaluating a job prospect.
  • Work flexibility came in as the second most important factor (82%), and salary ranked third (80%), all ranked well above other factors such as health insurance (48%), company reputation (45%), and 401(k)/retirement benefits (36%)
  • 34% have actually left a job because it did not have work flexibility
  • 14% have considered leaving a job because it did not have work flexibility
  • 24% are currently looking for a new job because of work flexibility issues

Workstyle Reasons Millennials Are Interested in Work Flexibility
Work flexibility appeals to different groups within the generation.

  • Millennials identified primarily with the following groups: working parents (40%), freelancers (26%), introverts (30%), entrepreneurs (18%), students (17%) and digital nomads (15%)
  • Millennials interested in work flexibility are highly educated and experienced workers. 74% of respondents have a college or graduate degree and 20% are already manager level or higher.

Employer Benefits
Millennials report being willing to make bottom-line saving sacrifices in exchange for telecommuting options:

  • 35% of respondents said they would take a 10% or 20% cut in pay
  • 27% are willing to forfeit vacation time
  • 22% would be willing to work more hours
  • 82% of respondents also say they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options
  • 60% of millennials think they would more be more productive at home vs an office

Generational differences*

  • While millennials tend to be associated with freelance work more so than other generations, these results showed they were less inclined: only 42% of millennials were open to freelancing as a flexible work arrangement. 47% of gen X and 44% of boomers expressed interest in freelancing.
  • Millennials report “needing and wanting to work” versus just “needing to work” at a higher rate (71%) than gen X (65%) and boomers (66%).
  • Millennials report being required to be at the office to work at a much higher rate (34 percent) than gen X (26%) and boomers (19%).
  • Yet, millennials show a stronger preference for working at a coffee shop, coworking space, library, or other place besides the office (11%) compared to gen X (8%) and boomers (6%).

Generational similarities:

  • None of the generations site the office during traditional hours as their location of choice for optimum productivity.
  • None of the generations seem to be overly concerned about the negative impact a flexible work arrangement might have on their career progression.
  • The three generations reported having been the victims of job scams at a similar rate (14%).
  • All three generations use social media similarly in their job search, with LinkedIn being the primary channel and Facebook a distant second.

*Generational breakdown of the respondents:
Millennials (678 respondents), Gen X (1,358 respondents), Boomer (845 respondents).

For more information visit: https://www.flexjobs.com/employer-blog/flexjobs-survey-millennials-interested-travel-work-flexibility/

To request additional information, please contact Kathy Gardner at kgardner(at)flexjobs(dot)com.

About FlexJobs
FlexJobs is the leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. With flexible job listings in over 50 career categories, and opportunities ranging from entry-level to executive and freelance to full-time, FlexJobs offers job seekers a safe, easy, and efficient way to find professional and legitimate flexible job listings. Having helped nearly 2 million people in their job searches, FlexJobs has appeared on CNN and Marketplace Money and in TIME, Forbes, Fortune, and hundreds of other trusted media outlets. FlexJobs' Founder & CEO Sara Sutton Fell has also launched two additional partner sites, Remote.co and 1 Million for Work Flexibility, to help provide education and awareness about the viability and benefits of remote working and work flexibility. Sutton Fell is also the creator of The TRaD* Works Forum (*Telecommuting, Remote, & Distributed), dedicated to helping companies leverage the benefits of telecommuting, remote and distributed teams.

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Kathy Gardner
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