In days gone by, life was relatively simple. You left school or university, you found a job and barring moving away or your employer going bust you stayed with that employer until you retired.
Today, and especially after the pandemic, that situation has changed significantly. Employees want flexibility, they want the ability to work from home, they want an employer that understands their work/life balance, and one that shares their ethical values. Job security, and the prospect of thirty or more years with one employer, seems to be low on the list of what employees want.
It is a well-documented fact that millennials – those people who came of age around the turn of the century – will make up 75% of the global workforce by the middle of this decade. They want to work for employers that foster innovative thinking, develop their skills and make a contribution to society.
But do they want a career?
According to a study by Aviva, 47% of employees are now less career-focused following the pandemic, with two in five people claiming “they could never switch off” from work.
24% of women said the pandemic had had a negative impact on their work/life balance as they tried to juggle work, a home, a family and a relationship – compared to just 16% of men.
Inevitably the impact of technology means that it will become harder to separate work and home life, especially if you work at home and the “office” is only a roll out of bed away. A few years ago France introduced a “right to disconnect ” – a law stipulating that companies with more than 50 employees establish hours when staff should not send or answer emails in a bid to prevent burnout and set a clear barrier between work and home life. We can suspect it won’t be the last country to take such action.
While a desire for flexibility, home working and career breaks is understandable it does, however, pose some financial planning questions. People will still need mortgages – which are clearly more difficult to obtain without a consistent employment history. People will still need to plan for their retirement which, again, becomes more difficult with career breaks and frequent changes of employer.
Throw in savings and investments and it becomes clear that while the workforce of the future may want flexibility and everything that goes with it, what it will most emphatically need is consistent, long-term financial planning from experienced advisers.