The myth has been perpetuated for some time that it is Generations Y and Z that will be driving a change to more flexible working practices, demanding to be able to work when, where and how they choose. This has been countered recently by surveys suggesting that young people do in fact want to be in the office. An earlier blog http://workessence.com/?p=72 looked at why being in the office still matters.
But it’s worth reflecting on why those in their 40’s and 50’s (let’s dispense with the generational tags for now) are better placed – and more likely – to embrace flexible working. From their perspective, they:
- Know what they are breaking away from – it’s a reaction, as much as a choice
- Have less need of after-hours social interaction – that’s not to say no need, just less
- Are more likely to have families, requiring flexible time allocation
- Are more socially experienced, and able to effectively balance isolated/quiet work with interaction, as required
- Are more likely to be self-employed
- Are aware that retirement may not be a full stop – and therefore start a gradual transition from salaried corporate employee to consultative environment
- Are more secure in themselves, having less need to “be seen” in the office than those starting out on their career
- Have the home and home facilities to support regular work from home
- Are more likely to want to to create a private office environment at home – to their own design, albeit on their own budget – to replace the one from which they were displaced in the corporate office
- Just get on with it, without making a huge song and dance about it
Flexibility, adaptability, zimmerbility.