Gen-Yers are known to put great value on work-life balance. An attribute or quality that is often unwelcome in today’s workplace. Here are 2 reasons why this negative attitude is unfounded, and even kind of hypocritical:

  1. 1. Gen-Y was raised by Baby-Boomers who encouraged family and friend time

    Gen-Y was raised to believe that family time is important. They were raised to believe in balance, and fair play, and grey lines (rather than black and white ones). And the precise people who raised this generation (my generation) to think like this- the baby boomers- are now shocked when 20-somethings enter their work force and demand reasonably flexible hours.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a Gen-Y-er myself, but I agree that family/friend time is important. And I doubt that many people would disagree. So why not embrace the fact that a new generation is effectively entering the workforce and pushing the boundaries in favour of more balance?

  2. 2. Gen-Y-ers are often hired because of their impressive extra-curricular accomplishments, not in spite of it

    The fact is, often the reason that particular Gen-Yers have been hired in the first place is because the employer valued the individual for not only their work/academic experience, but for their commitment to extra-curricular activities.

    AKA employers should not be surprised when Gen-Y recruits complains about only have 2 weeks of vacation or refuse to work on the weekend. These are the exact attributes that made them stand out as excellent candidates in the first place.

So, is it a mistake to hire these well-rounded individuals for fear they might want to have a life outside of work? Absolutely not. Let’s put it this way:

Would you rather have an employee who is well-rounded and active, and comes into work with energy each day? Or an employee whose life revolves around work and who will likely resent his/her work very quickly?

So, instead of fighting the Gen-Y tendency to demand a fair work life balance, learn to take advantage of it. Ultimately, this trait which is currently perceived as a negative one may end up rubbing off on the rest of your workforce…And if you agree with what I’ve written- that’s a good thing.