How Does Each Generation View Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance is a favorite topic of conversation nowadays. Everybody has something to say about it. However, the opinions can be very different regarding the topic depending on the generation that is discussing it.
The idea that there is a dichotomy between work and lifestyle was first invented in the 19th Century, but it was only in the 1970s that the expression was used in the UK, while the United States only started mentioning it in the 1980s.
Over the years, the approach and understanding of work-life balance have constantly been changing, and you can see what Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y and Millennials have to say about it.

How Does Each Generation View Work-Life Balance?

Baby Boomers: Career is The Most Important Thing

Baby Boomers, children born just after the Second World War between 1956 and 1964, are used to a hard life. They had to break many rules and deal with the rebuilding of their countries in order to earn a decent living.
For those and other reasons, baby boomers don’t understand why people expect to have a work-life balance. In their minds, a solid career is the only way to survival, so they work until exhaustion. And they think that this is how the things should be.

Generation X: Dreaming of a Work-Life Balance

Generation X, generally born from the mid-60s to mid-70s, are the sons and daughters of the baby boomers. They grew up watching their parents work hard, and they believe that this is the way to pay the bills.
Still, Generation X got a feeling that living like this isn’t great. They might have seen how stressed their parents were after work, and they don’t want to go through the same. So they do their best to spend more time with their families, even when their jobs won’t allow them to – so they usually stress over guilt and are constantly running against the clock.
[RELATED: 11 Work-Life Balance Tips From Men]

Millennials: Work is Part of Life

On the other hand, and as a consequence of the efforts of Generation X, the Millennials, or Generation Y, don’t see a point in trying to achieve a work-life balance. But not because they don’t care about it. It is just that they believe that work should be seen as part of life so that the dichotomy doesn’t really exist in practice.
Typically considered as the children born from the mid-70s until mid-90s, Millennials will think that it is perfectly fine if you work hard because your job makes you feel alive and productive. So, yes, conversations about work over the weekends are perfectly fine to them.
However, as a requirement, they expect that everybody has a job that he or she loves doing or what he or she have always dreamed. It can bring much frustration when things happen differently.

And What About Generation Z?

Generation Z has just started looking for their first jobs. Born from the mid-90’s to mid-2000’s, it is still too early to say how they will deal with work-life balance. Still, many researchers will say that Gen Z will do much better at work than Millennials.
They will still dream about doing what they love and what excites them. However, they will have a communitarian perspective instead of a selfish one. They want to make the world a better place. And it will make all the difference.

The Bottom Line

Baby boomers, Generation X, and Millennials each have their own way to see and seek work-life balance. They are all fighting for their beliefs in the same workplace nowadays.
Which one is right? It’s hard to say. It seems that the best way is your own particular way; the one that makes you wake up happy in the morning knowing that you have to go to work.
So pick your favorite and have a good day at work!

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