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COVID-19: Nine in 10 millennials expect flexible working going forward

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·2-min read
Despite older staff already working more hours than their younger counterparts, millennials still have a higher desire to work fewer hours. Photo: Marvin Meyer/Unsplash
Despite older staff already working more hours than their younger counterparts, millennials still have a higher desire to work fewer hours. Photo: Marvin Meyer/Unsplash

Nine in 10 millennials in the UK expect a more flexible working week in a post COVID-19 world, research suggests.

Of those aged 25 to 34, 87% now expect to have input on flexible working moving forward, a survey of 1,000 by office specialists Workthere found

This is a stark contrast to the older generation of employees, with just six in 10 of those aged 55 and over sharing the same view.

Nearly eight in 10 (79%) of young Brits already work less than the national average of 38 hours a week, the survey found.

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Meanwhile, workers aged 45 to 54-years-old are twice as likely to work more than 38 hours a week, compared to 25 to 34-year-olds. Two fifths admitted to overworking, compared to just a fifth of their younger colleagues.

Furthermore, despite older employees already working more hours than their younger counterparts, millennials still have a higher desire to work fewer hours.

Meanwhile, 86% of workers in this age bracket said that their ideal working week would be less than 38 hours a week, compared to just over three quarters (78%) of 45 to 54-year-olds.

With a hybrid model of office-based work and working from home set to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic, and trends indicating a preference for a “more relaxed” approach to work among younger generations, workplace flexibility could continue to grow for generations to come, Workthere said.

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“With so many people working from home this year, it’s clear that this is altering the approach and attitude towards what we previously perceived to be a standard working week,” said Cal Lee, global head of Workthere

“With the younger generations now used to having flexibility in their week, be it when or where they work, it appears this desire for more freedom is a trend that is set to develop further as the UK continues to recover from the pandemic.

“This in turn may see more and more businesses re-evaluate their previous practices and make changes to accommodate this.”

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