This Generation Values Their Time The Most, According To Survey

There's the age-old belief that, if one works hard enough and puts in those long hours, then success (and a hefty paycheck) is pretty much a given. However, many are starting to realize this isn't always the case. During the first half of 2024 alone, thousands of good employees were unceremoniously laid off from massive corporations like Tesla, Google, UPS, and more, leaving them no choice but to update their resumes and inform their LinkedIn connections that they're "open to work."

The vision of the American dream is dying, particularly in the eyes of one generation: millennials. Those in their late 20s through early 40s no longer feel compelled to always be "on call" for jobs that eat up their energy and give little to nothing back in return for such dedication.

Ultimately, millennials crave a strong work-life balance, with studies showing that this generation values their time more than their older counterparts (that is, Generation X and baby boomers). Yes, they'll perform the duties of their position well. But at the same time, don't expect them to answer their manager's Slack message when it's after hours, and they're in the middle of that Pilates class they've been wanting to try out.

The price of prioritizing well-being over workaholism

On average, according to Empower's Time is Money study, Millennials believe that their time is worth a little over $328 per hour. This generation has the highest self-value, with Gen Z coming in at $266, Gen X at $215 and baby boomers at $137 (speaking of boomers, see what will happen to the workforce when they begin to retire). Millennials want to spend their time wisely, with 36% of the cohort willing to pay up to $10,000 for someone else to tackle chores, cooking, and other not-so-pleasant tasks, as reported by the same study.

A separate research study conducted by Ford found that 60% of millennials in the United States would agree to a 20% pay cut if it meant living at a slower pace with more time to focus on self-care and personal enjoyments, whether it be connecting with loved ones, traveling (check out thebest U.S. destinations to travel to on a budget), or pursuing a hobby. As for Gen Xers and baby boomers, only 43% and 33%, respectively, would agree to this. The study says, "[Millennials] are opting to step away from the constant hustle of career advancement and are willing to accept the potential sacrifices that come with prioritizing their own well-being."

Striking the perfect work-life balance

Millennials (who are suffering from money-phobia) are seemingly the first generation to take the ancient proverb "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" to heart. They want to feel fulfilled in their careers, but they also understand there's more to life than grinding away at a 9 to 5. A Harris Poll exclusive to USA Todayexclusive to USA Today found that 79% of millennials want to be defined by who they are outside of work, not by how many hours they put in at the office.

A massive shift toward this way of thinking occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, when those new to the remote working environment realized that they didn't have to endure a lengthy commute, stressful office setting, or uncomfortable attire in order to perform their job duties. This especially resonated with millennials, who embraced being able to take their dog on a mid-afternoon walk, or try that new TikTok recipe for lunch, all while staying on top of their work.

Now, this generation is seeking more than a large salary from prospective employers. They want flexibility, with 78% of millennials stating that they'd have more workplace loyalty if this were to be granted, according to a survey by FlexJobs. Whether it's starting at a later hour because they need to take their kids to school or having a remote/hybrid schedule, millennials know what they want and aren't afraid to ask for things that'll help them live a more balanced life.