Jun 21, 2013

Who You Callin’ Lazy?

At Fast Company, Cali Williams Host proposed that young professionals (YPs) aren’t lazy. Well, that isn’t exactly where she began. What she did was question whether our perception of YPs is accurate when we conclude that "they don’t want to work hard."

She says no.

Host believes it is language that not only skews our perception of YPs, but also restricts their expression on this topic. For example, she writes:

"When Millennials say they want ‘balance,’ they don’t mean work less. They mean work differently and more flexibly. There’s a big difference. My experience is that most Millennials are willing to work very hard when required; however, they might want to work from home or come into the office earlier or later than traditional hours. The problem is that outdated language limits their ability to describe accurately what they are trying to achieve."

I understand this. Even as a Gen-Xer (I'm 40), I have noticed the desire to combine work and life more seamlessly. And the increasing number of my colleagues and peers whose work makes room for integration shows that office culture is changing shape. "As long as you get your work done," the sentiment seems to go, "you can work how and from where you’d like."

Dentist appointment at 10 a.m.? No sweat. Conference call in pjs? Fine, as long as your camera is turned off.

In fact, according to the Workforce Retention Survey, "Although 60 percent of working Americans said they remain with their current employers because of benefits and 59 percent reported staying because of the pay, more than two-thirds (67 percent) said they choose to stay because their jobs fit well with the other aspects of their lives."

That 67 percent represents feedback from all adult workers, from 18-years old and up. Regardless of age, it appears that most of us want that balance.

So who’s lazy? Well, nobody, as it turns out. (Though, and it must be noted, that survey results showed older generations want this fit more than their young successors!)

*****

Beginning Monday, The High Calling will promote a week of content on work-life balance. Conversations about getting our daily schedules just right matter to all of us, and we look forward to rich dialogue with you through personal stories, theology, videos, and interviews. Join us in the comments and at our social media channels.

In the meantime, read the rest of 3 Reasons ‘Balance’ Has Become a Dirty Word at Work, by Cali Williams Host. And if you think you might be what Host reveres as a "work+life fit 'natural,'" read her more recent post called 5 Insanely Simple Work-Life Balance Shortcuts from People Who Have It All.

See you Monday!

 

Image by Whitaker Blackall. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr. Introduction by Sam Van Eman, Young Professionals editor and narrator of A Beautiful Trench It Was.

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