Do your coworkers talk about balance? Do your coworkers often bring up topics such as days off, flex-time, comp time, or telecommuting? Do different generations approach balance differently?
Veterans and Traditionals struggle with the transition to retirement with an uncertain meaning or value. They have worked their whole lives with on-time attendance and the feeling of being needed to complete the tasks. Often, members of this generation aren’t retiring to something, just from something.
The Baby Boomers feel stretched. Boomers have aging parents, and adult children, and find it hard to have time for balance. As Baby Boomers start to consider retirement, they want to retire to something, rather than from something. Boomers may start a non-profit, a consultancy, or a foundation, to lead and to feel meaning in their lives.
Generation Xers focus on finding balance now. They want to balance life and work now rather than when they retire. Gen Xers prefer results-oriented work environments rather than clock watching workplaces. Xers will negotiate start-time and end-time schedules to acquire the work/life balance they seek.
Millennials seek employers that offer tremendous flexibility so they can attempt to balance all of their activities. They were busy as kids with all sorts of before-school and after-school opportunities and interests and they would like that to continue. Millennials want flexible hours to juggle their schedules.
Balance is an issue in today’s work world. Balance is a challenge…for everybody. At work, openly discuss work/life balance, create a menu of alternatives, and support each other’s choices.