UK's Realtime Generation Already Thinking about Work/Life Balance

First the 'baby boomers,' then 'Gen-X,' next came the 'Millenials,' and now the workforce is readying itself for a new generation: the 'Realtime Generation,' comprised of those born after 1990. How can businesses prepare to unleash the talent of this generation? A study by Logicalis, which includes a survey of more than 600 of Britain's 13'17-year-olds, sheds new light on this cohort.

An Affinity for Technology

The Realtime Generation is mobile, global, and natural consumers of all forms of media and technology. They have high expectations of the role of technology in their educational and social experiences. And, they are already thinking about what role work will play in their lives ' and how technology can enhance their time in the workplace and at home.  

This young generation personifies the 'e-personality,' an ever-increasing way of living worldwide. More than half of 13'17-year-olds who were surveyed own a high-tech mobile phone, IPod, or personal computer, and 17 percent own all of these technological devices. Ninety-one percent of the survey pool use instant messaging on their computers at least once a week, and an astonishing 71 percent regularly use a Webcam and microphone to communicate online. Forty percent have posted their own online video, and 35 percent have written their own blogs.  

Being social and staying in constant contact is important to the Realtime Generation; they generally have a large network of online friends and contacts. The 13-year-olds had a higher percentage of technology ownership and activity as compared to the rest of the survey pool, highlighting that technology reaches consumers at increasingly younger ages.

Importance of Work/Life Balance

With this generation still in high school, it was surprising to find that 81 percent have already considered future work/life balance, and 11 percent would leave an employer who asks them to choose work over family. Only 19 percent believed that work should come before family life. The next generation expects a more flexible work/life balance where family would naturally come before their career. In addition, 76 percent of those questioned believed they would have opportunities to work abroad, highlighting their global perspective and the desire to formulate their career on their own terms.  

Self-expression is at the heart of the high volume of online and technological activity and proved to be the central driver of the Realtime Generation. Through blogging and online communities, this young generation creates a personalized digital footprint of themselves. YouTube and Myspace are extremely popular mediums; 87 percent of the survey pool are members of at least one of many online communities.  

Outlets for expression must be incorporated into learning and corporate environments to engage employees. Organizations that would prohibit or hinder this self-expression will end up alienating the entire generation, and their business will end up losing out on this fresh talent. In fact, 55 percent of the survey pool believe they will use instant messaging to communicate with colleagues, and 48 percent believe that desktop Webcams will be available in the workplace.  

This insight into the lives and minds of UK's new generation implies that UK business leaders must be ready to tap into and encourage the willingness of the UK Realtime Generation to communicate and share ideas through high-tech means by investing in leading-edge technologies. They must be willing to support their social and family-focused mindset through innovative and flexible work/life solutions.  

To learn more about the study, visit the Logicalis Web site.

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

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The Bright Horizons Blog Editor frequently posts on the real solutions that meaningfully support employees, advance careers, and drive the world’s leading brands. The Editor curates the latest news, trends, and challenges facing HR pros because your time is scarce. Follow the Bright Horizons Blog to receive this insight in your inbox.