FlexJobs’ Survey Explores Varying Workplace Attitudes of Millennials and Older Workers

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17 Surprising remote jobs also showcase the variety of remote job opportunities available to workers of all ages

“Although the generations are interested in work flexibility for different reasons, one thing is clear: they all place a high value on work flexibility, with particular emphasis on telecommuting options,” said Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs

Today FlexJobs released new insights from its August 2018 survey, which gathered responses from over 3,000 workers about key topics related to career, work flexibility, and workplace issues. FlexJobs specifically analyzed and compared responses from members of the millennial generation with those who identified with the baby boomer or silent generation to uncover differences and similarities in workplace attitudes and behaviors, and find out why work flexibility matters to them.

“Although the generations are interested in work flexibility for different reasons, one thing is clear: they all place a high value on work flexibility, with particular emphasis on telecommuting options,” said Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “Another point that their responses made overwhelmingly evident is that working within the confines of a traditional office environment is not conducive to producing most employees’ best work. When people of all ages think they would be more productive working from home, employers really need to re-examine their antiquated notion that working 9-to-5 in an office is the best way to maximize results from their employees,” Sutton concluded.

Below are a few notable differences in attitudes between millennials and older workers (defined as members of the baby boomer generation and the silent generation) regarding workplace and work flexibility issues:

  • Millennials prioritize the ability to travel, with 60% saying it’s one of the primary reasons they work, second only to paying for basic necessities (82%) and ahead of saving for retirement (55%) and paying off debt (50%).
  • Older workers say the primary reasons they work, behind paying for basic necessities (65%), are because they enjoy working (56%), to save for retirement (53%), to pay off debt (44%), and to travel (44%).
  • 20% of millennials identify as digital nomads vs. 9% of older workers who say the same.
  • 78% of millennials say they would be more loyal to an employer if they had flexible work options, while only 71% of older workers say the same thing.
  • 70% of millennials have left or considered leaving a job because it lacked flexible work options, while only about half of older workers report the same.
  • Millennials think the gender pay gap and gender inequality are more problematic than olders workers, with 60% of millennials saying it was a problem in today's workplace vs. 53% of older workers saying it was a problem.
  • Work-life balance is more important to millennials, with 83% ranking it as the most important factor in evaluating a job prospect, and 62% of older workers considering it a factor.
  • Millennials value company perks more than older workers (35% vs. 17%), and are more concerned with company culture (44% vs. 29%).
  • Older workers identified with computer & IT (14%) and medical & health (13%) as relevant career categories at higher rates than millennials did (11% and 10%). Older workers also identify working in the education category (21%) more so than millennials (14%).

Below are a few notable similarities in attitudes between millennials and older workers regarding workplace and work flexibility issues:

  • Less than 10% in both groups say they choose the office as their preferred place to get important work done.
  • More than 60% in both groups think they would be more productive telecommuting.
  • Both rank telecommuting 100% of the time as their preferred type of flexible work arrangement, with 37% of millennials being interested in freelance work and 40% of older workers being open to a freelance option.
  • Only 9% in both demographics said they wouldn’t mind returning to the office after having telecommuted.
  • 41% in both demographics said they didn’t think they should have to exchange anything (such as vacation time or salary) for the option to telecommute.
  • Roughly 65% of both groups have telecommuted in their job before.
  • 40% of millennials and 41% of older workers think the various generations work very well together in the workplace, and 8% of millennials and 6% of older workers said there was definitely tension.
  • A quarter of both groups identify as freelancers.
  • Roughly 10% in both groups say they suffer from chronic illness or health issues.
  • Both groups consider meaningful work a critical factor in accepting a job (55% and 57%).
  • 18% of millennials and 17% of older workers have been scammed at least one time looking for jobs online.

There are a lot of perceptions of what work-from-home jobs and other flexible jobs can be, most of which are outdated. To help showcase that remote jobs offer far more viable professional options than most people tend to realize, FlexJobs has also highlighted 17 surprising remote jobs for all generations to consider. More surprising flexible jobs can be found at FlexJobs’ 100 of the Most Surprising Flexible Jobs report.

Bioinformatician, Microbiologist - Be responsible for integrating and analyzing genomic data obtained from bacterial isolates and develop analytic methods to integrate output. Option for remote job with travel required to conferences and meetings.
Salary range - $47,453 - $100,342

Child Psychiatrist - Remote-based position. Provide telepsychiatry services in an outpatient community, develop subject expertise, and provide required equipment. Must have one year of psychiatry experience.
Salary range - $146,275 - $265,766

Country Study Manager - Manage clinical studies, lead teams, ensure study goals are met and compliance is achieved. Vendor and budget management experience required. Must have a degree in nursing or life science and strong clinical research experience. Contract position.
Salary range - $52,810 - $119,490

Creative Director - Option for telecommuting. Candidate will execute concepts & guidelines in various creative projects, track results of team efforts, and suggest actions and changes for the future. Must have 3+ years' experience as a creative director.
Salary range - $46,192 - $154,490

Corporate Counsel - Provide legal advice and support to business leaders, support regulatory affairs, and draft and negotiate contracts. Must have a JD and a law license, along with 1+ years of regulatory or transactional experience. Telecommute position.
Salary range - $72,777 - $193,072

Ice Hockey Senior Sales Specialist - Be responsible for virtually meeting with families by video conferencing and phone to conduct recruiting assessments with NCSA members college athletic recruiting. 5+ years of experience in sales is needed. Work remotely.
Salary range - $42,782 - $142,817

Medical Director - Regional medical director is needed for a remote role. He/she is responsible for guiding the medical direction of both GP and specialty hospitals. Must have desire to continuously improve the quality of medical care delivered. Prior related experience required.
Salary range - $106,214 - $271,482

Online ESL Teacher or Tutor - Seeking an ESL teacher or tutor to provide services for students in a virtual environment. Must have a college degree and access to a personal computer with internet access. Prior teaching experience is helpful. Remote.
Salary range - $24,872 - $61,242

Partnership Manager - Vet Clinics - Join a team and create sale channel partnerships and lead and develop processes for partnership sales located throughout the Bay area and reach out to vet prospects by email, phone, and in-person. Work remotely from home.
Salary range - $47,943 - $122,501

Product Manager - Maps, Routing and Navigation - Duties include developing a leading outdoor route planning and navigation platform, running tests, gathering user feedback, and optimizing features.
Salary range - $51,124 - $119,079

Professional Consulting Veterinarian - Full-time position with some remote work. Duties include building relationships and educating veterinary and pet retail customers, delivering internal education to sales territory managers, and supporting customer initiatives. DVM or VMD required.
Salary range - $54,312 - $106,176

Project Construction Manager - Seeking candidate with strong technical skills for position prioritizing development opportunities, creating and executing the development plan, ensuring quality control standards, and controlling the construction process. Remote with 50-60% travel.
Salary range - $46,077 - $108,881

Senior Manager, Real Estate - Senior Manager is needed for a remote opportunity. Candidate will produce new cafe development opportunities and franchise markets. Must ensure timely and successful lease signing. BA/BS degree and prior related experience required.
Salary range - $55,058 - $145,651

Senior Scientist - Qualitative - Lead projects, mentor staff, and produce scientific presentations and technical reports/manuscripts. Must have a master's degree and 12 years of postdoctoral experience. Full-time, remote position with moderate travel.
Salary range - $70,309 - $138,063

Tax Manager - Public - Will prepare and review S corp, LLC, and individual tax returns; identify and research tax planning and compliance issues; and provide tax consulting. 4+ years of experience required. Partial remote option with flexible schedule.
Salary range - $69,319 - $126,032

Threat Hunter - Works in a remote fast-paced environment analyzing intrusions and detections, improving detection capability and efficiency, and assessing cyber threat intelligence. Must be knowledgeable of programming languages. Prior related experience required.
Salary range - $43,196 - $95,614

Video Game Tester - Needs a diploma and has a strong interest in video games. Weekend hours. Test pre-release games, verify functionality, data content, performance, compliance, usability/playability and compatibility.
Salary range - $22,468 - $97,871

*Generational breakdown of the respondents: millennials (600 respondents), baby boomers (1,100 respondents), silent generation (200 respondents)

For more information visit https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/survey-finds-varying-attitudes-millennials-older-workers-about-key-workplace-issues or please contact Kathy Gardner at kgardner@flexjobs.com.

About FlexJobs
FlexJobs is committed to helping people find a better way to work. As the leading online service for professionals seeking remote, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs, FlexJobs offers opportunities in over 50 career categories, ranging from entry-level and executive to freelance and full-time. FlexJobs also sets itself apart by providing job seekers with a better, safer, and more efficient way to find professional and legitimate flexible jobs. Having helped over 3 million people in their job searches, FlexJobs has appeared in CNN, CNBC, Time, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and hundreds of other trusted media outlets. To further assist people in bettering their lives through flexible and remote work, FlexJobs' founder and CEO, Sara Sutton, 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 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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