Young people can’t help working too much

Millennials & Gen Zers aren't practicing what they preach.

Together with

The Future. Younger generations are talking about work-life balance more than ever but can’t seem to institute it in their own lives. Whatever the reason, it may be time to question our relationship to productivity. Is a good work ethic really “good” if it makes you miserable?

Around the clock
Deloitte’s annual survey of millennials and Gen Zers revealed that these groups struggle to practice what they preach.

  • While respondents valued a person’s ability to protect their time more than anything else, they were twice as likely to define themselves by their jobs than by their hobbies or relationships.
  • Many also reported that the financial instability of recent decades makes them feel that their career goals may be unattainable if they don’t make early sacrifices.
  • Additionally, some struggle with the fear of letting down parents who exalted work and made big sacrifices to give them better opportunities.

Protestant worst ethic
Regardless, working this much doesn’t make people happy. And small fixes – like muting work notifications when you’re off the clock – still don’t rid workers of the guilty feeling that they should be working. If we want to walk the walk, we might need to re-examine our association of hard work and moral standing.


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