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25% of millennials would resign over a single after-hours work request, study reveals

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  • One in four millennial workers would quit their job over a single out-of-hours demand from their boss.
  • Millennials highly value work-life balance, with many willing to seek new opportunities to maintain this equilibrium.
  • Employers must respect personal time and avoid unnecessary out-of-hours demands to retain millennial talent.

In a striking revelation, a recent study by Reed has found that one in four millennial workers would quit their jobs over a single out-of-hours demand from their boss. This finding underscores the growing importance of work-life balance among the millennial workforce, a trend that employers cannot afford to ignore.

The study, which surveyed 2,000 employees, highlighted that 25% of millennials, aged 18 to 34, would consider resigning if contacted after work hours. This statistic is a clear indicator of the generation's prioritization of personal time and well-being over professional obligations. The research further revealed that 59% of young workers are willing to seek new opportunities to maintain their work-life equilibrium, with 22% deeming a single out-of-hours request as sufficient reason to leave their current job.

Interestingly, the study also explored the relationship between salary levels and the willingness to endure out-of-hours work demands. It was found that individuals at both ends of the pay scale spectrum, those earning over £100,000 and those earning under £12,699, were less inclined to quit over after-hours calls, standing at 28%. However, among workers earning between £80,000 to £99,999, more than half expressed a willingness to resign if faced with excessive weekend work demands.

Contrastingly, older workers, particularly those above 55 years of age, were found to be less affected by out-of-hours requests. Only 40% of this age group contemplated resignation, and a mere 10% were deterred by a one-time occurrence. This generational divide highlights the unique challenges and expectations that millennial workers bring to the modern workplace.

The Deloitte Global 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey supports these findings, emphasizing that work-life balance is the top consideration for millennials when choosing an employer. The survey also noted that millennials are pushing for flexible work arrangements, such as part-time jobs, job-sharing options, and four-day work weeks, to better manage their personal and professional lives.

The implications of these findings are significant for employers. To retain millennial talent, companies must respect their employees' personal time and avoid making unnecessary out-of-hours demands. As Jonathan Recanati, a CEO mentioned in the study, pointed out, "Being constantly available is vital in staying informed and competitive in their industries," but this approach may not resonate with the younger workforce who value their personal time.

Moreover, the study's findings align with broader trends observed in the workforce. The "Great Resignation" wave, driven by overworked and underpaid employees, continues to impact various industries. A PwC survey revealed that more people are now considering leaving their current jobs compared to the peak of resignations in 2022, with heavier workloads and dissatisfaction with compensation being primary drivers.

The study by Reed highlights a critical aspect of the millennial workforce's expectations: the need for a balanced work-life dynamic. Employers who fail to recognize and adapt to this shift may face higher employee turnover and struggle to retain top talent. As the workplace continues to evolve, respecting personal time and fostering a supportive work environment will be key to maintaining a satisfied and productive workforce.

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