The future of the working world for millennials

GradJobs News
28 June 2017 | GradJobs News | Guest Author

43% of those aged 16-35 fear that technological advances will negatively impact their future job prospects

  • 40% feel threatened by automation of the workplace, with 51% fearing they will have to retrain.
  • 69% of Millennials, and 72% of Generation Z would like a job with flexi-time.
  • In 2017, Millennials feel more loyal to their employers compared to the previous year.

By 2020, Millennials (born 1982-1995) will make up 35% of the global workforce, and Generation Z (born 1996- 2011), who are currently starting to enter the workforce will make up 20%. Therefore, it is important to tap into what they desire from a job to ensure a contented and productive future workforce.

Millennials have frequently found themselves negatively stereotyped as lazy, self-entitled job hoppers and Generation Z are being increasingly tarnished with the same brush, as they begin to join the workforce.

However, these generations are an asset to the workplace. Growing up in the digital age means their digital skills are more advanced over previous generations; particularly Generation Z who will barely have known life without Wi-Fi, social media and smartphones. Furthermore, their tendency to “job-hop” ensures they gain a wide range of skills.

Savoystewart.co.uk collated data from a recent survey conducted by Deloitte on Millennials, which uncovered the anxiety many Millennials are experiencing with regards to their future in the working world. To discover whether Generation Z who are entering, or about to enter the workforce would experience the same things, Savoystewart surveyed 200 individuals of Generation Z, to underpin their thoughts, anxiety and desires.

It was found that Millennials lacked loyalty to their employer with 1 in 4 stating they would consider quitting their job in the next year. This number rose to 44% within two years of employment. However, this year, the percentage for leaving in the next two years was 8% lower and “planning to leave soon” was 10% lower, demonstrating a trend towards more loyal young employees. Research also alluded to a lack of loyalty among Generation Z, as just 33% said they would consider remaining in their first job for more than over 18 months.

When breaking down the report, SavoyStewart discovered:

  • 69% of Millennials want a job that offers flexi-hours.
  • 84% of Millennials are offered some degree of flexible working.
  • 72% of Generation Z want a job with flexi-hours.

The top five priorities among Millennials and Generation Z for a job, are largely the same; both citing job progression as the most important. However, provision of training featured in Generation Z's options but not in Millennials. Additionally, a competitive salary and monetary bonuses are more important to Millennials, possibly due to the fact they grew up during the recession.

Flexi-time is a work feature important to both generations. 69% of millennials want flexi-time at a job. and this has found to be linked to improved organisational performance and loyalty. Luckily enough for millennials, 84% reported they had been offered some degree of flexible working.

The desire for flexible working can also be observed in Generation Z; 44% of Gen Z would be most excited to apply for a job with a flexible work schedule, and a whopping 72% would like a job with flexible working.

Automation anxiety

Automation and artificial intelligence has already and will continue to bring about a lot of changes in the workplace. Deloitte found Millennials are concerned about the continuing automation of many jobs, with 40% viewing it as a threat. 44% also believe there will be less demand for their skills and 51% believe they will have to re-train. Furthermore, 53% believe it will make the workplace less human and more impersonal.

However, some optimistic Millennials have said automation is a positive opportunity to learn new skills, and will open more highly skilled job opportunities.

Generation Z individuals are also concerned. 46% view automated jobs as a threat and 32% worry there will be fewer jobs made available to them.

"Employment among young people is at a relatively good level, but we do have many concerns about the future. One worry is that Brexit may have an adverse impact on the economy; we just don't know what will happen. Also, the automation of many jobs means that fewer positions will be available and that we will be required to constantly advance our technical skills to keep up with the fast rate of change; there is much demand on our generation in the world of work." – Ellie, 24

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