- A new survey sheds light on how Americans truly feel about work.
- It uncovers surprising generational differences; more than half of Millennials claim to be very happy at work.
- The research also reveals what workers think about their boss, and that 83% of workers across all generations would prefer a four-day workweek.
GoodHire published today the findings of a survey that aimed to uncover Americans’ true feelings about work. The company surveyed an equal number of Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen-Xers, and Gen-Zers to understand the workplace generational divide.
The survey found some similarities between the four generations—like how 83% of workers (across all generations) would prefer a four-day workweek, the fact that no one is happy with their pay or work-life balance, and that the biggest bother for most is their boss.
The survey also found some stark differences, like what workers in each generation are willing to forfeit to improve their work-life balance. For Gen Z, it’s paid time off; for Millennials and Gen X, it’s a portion of their salary; and for Baby Boomers, it’s growth opportunities.
Key Findings from the Survey
- 57% of Millennials said they are very happy at work, making them the happiest generation.
- 22% of Gen Z said they are either unhappy or hate work, making them the most unhappy generation.
- 60% of Millennials are fulfilled at work, saying they find great meaning and purpose in their jobs.
- 69% of Gen Z is not satisfied with their work-life balance. This age group has the lowest satisfaction rate, followed by Baby Boomers (63%), Gen X (55%), and Millennials (48%).
- Millennials (90%) are most in favor of a 4-day work week.
- Less than half of workers across generations are happy with their pay. Only 30% of Baby Boomers are completely happy with their compensation, followed by Gen Z (32%), Gen X (42%), and Millennials (47%).
- Millennials are happier working remotely (63%), contrary to Baby Boomers, who are the least happy with remote work (37%).
- 46% of Millennials plan to leave their job in the next 12 months.
Implications for the Future of Work
The world of work has changed.
Workers across generations have come to realize that there is more to life than work, which has led to an unprecedented spike in quit rates. Workers today are prioritizing the why of work, and while competitive compensation is still a great motivator for workers across generations, companies need to do more than provide a paycheck to keep workers engaged and happy at work.
What exactly, then, do American workers want to be happy at work?
For starters, many want work-life balance. The hustle culture has been glorified over the past several years, but the days of hustle culture being the non-plus ultra are over.
While a slight majority of Millennials (52%) feel like their work-life balance is satisfactory, the fact is that American workers feel like there is no line between work and life anymore—especially since the onset of the pandemic and with the rise of remote work.
Most workers also favor a 4-day work week. This isn’t too surprising, as studies have found that a 4-day work week can improve work-life balance without hindering productivity.
Companies need to wake up to the needs and wants of American workers. The Great Resignation is a real threat for organizations across industries. The employer-employee dynamic has shifted, and companies that wish to attract and retain top talent need to start delivering on what workers want.
GoodHire’s survey highlights the importance of understanding what makes each generation of workers tick. While there is no one-size fits all approach to talent attraction and retention, here are a few things that can help companies stand out:
- Competitive pay
- Remote work options
- Career advancement
- Work-life balance.