Workplace Wellness

The Gen Z Revolution: Ditching 9-5 for Work Life Balance

December 10, 2022
TheWellnessTribe Team

Gen Z, also known as the iGeneration or post-Millennials, is the generation born between 1997 and 2012. This generation is known for its tech-savviness, entrepreneurial spirit, and willingness to challenge the status quo. 

Traditionally, 90% of the workforce worked 9 to 5 days, with a set lunch break in between. While the 9 to 5 work model was the norm in the past, today's workers are increasingly looking for flexible and remote work opportunities, particularly from Gen Z.

A number of factors, including the increasing availability of remote work opportunities, the desire for work-life balance, and the changing attitudes of young people towards work and success, drive this trend. This article explores how Gen Z breaks free from the 9 to 5.

Too Much Comfort From Remote Work?

The Gen Z Revolution Ditching 9-5 for Work Life Balance
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

One of the main reasons why Gen Z is breaking free of the 9 to 5 is the increasing availability of remote work opportunities. With the rise of the gig economy and the emergence of online platforms that connect workers with employers, it has become easier than ever for people to find work that can be done from anywhere in the world. This has given young people the flexibility to create their own schedules and work on their own terms rather than being tied down to a traditional office job.

The Perfect Work-Life Balance

Another factor that is driving this trend is the desire for work-life balance. Many young people, particularly Gen Z, value experiences and personal growth over material possessions and financial success. They are willing to trade a high-paying job with long hours for one that allows them to have more time for hobbies, travel, and other activities that enrich their lives. 

This is reflected in the growing popularity of flexible work arrangements, such as part-time and freelance work, which give workers the ability to choose their own schedules and work on their own terms.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Success Is Being Redefined.

In addition to the availability of remote work opportunities and the desire for work-life balance, the changing attitudes of young people towards work and success are also contributing to the trend of breaking free from the 9 to 5. Many young people today view work as a means to an end rather than an end in itself. 

They are less likely to be motivated by traditional markers of success, such as climbing the corporate ladder or accumulating wealth, and more likely to prioritise fulfilment and personal growth. As a result, they are more willing to take risks and pursue unconventional career paths that allow them to follow their passions and interests.

Change Is Afoot Thanks to Technology.

The Gen Z Revolution Ditching 9-5 for Work Life Balance
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

One of the main reasons for this shift is the increasing availability of technology that makes remote work possible. With the rise of the internet and the widespread use of smartphones and laptops, it is now easier than ever for workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world. This has opened up new opportunities for Gen Z workers who are looking to break free from the constraints of the 9 to 5 work model.

Rise of the Gig Economy

The rise of the gig economy has also contributed to the shift away from the 9 to 5 work model. The gig economy refers to the growing trend of workers taking on short-term, contract-based work rather than traditional full-time employment. This allows workers to have more control over their schedules and the type of work they do, which can be particularly appealing to Gen Z workers who value flexibility and autonomy.

Closing Thoughts

This generation is driven by a desire for autonomy and a need for work-life balance, and they are using technology to create their own opportunities and forge their own paths. As a result, the concept of the 9 to 5 workday is becoming increasingly obsolete, and companies will need to adapt to this changing landscape in order to attract and retain top talent from this generation.

Occupational Wellness

From Zoom Calls to Chai Breaks: The Return of the Office

April 1, 2023
The Wellness Tribe Team

The pandemic has forced us to adjust to remote work, blurring the lines between our professional and personal lives. But with vaccinations and the easing of restrictions, the tide seems to be turning, with more and more employees choosing to go back to working from the office. 

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 78% of Indian professionals are back to working from the office by choice. While remote work has its benefits, such as saving time and money on commuting, most workers miss the informal bonding that happens over a cup of chai during breaks. 

In this article, we'll delve into the findings of the survey and explore the changing attitudes toward remote work, the impact of remote work on career growth, and the importance of informal conversations in the workplace.

Remote Work & Career Impact

While remote work has been a savior for many employees during the pandemic, it has also raised concerns about its impact on career growth. Interestingly, the LinkedIn survey found that 63% of Indians surveyed feel that remote work has no harmful impact on their careers. 

However, for those who work remotely, the survey also highlighted the pressure to overcompensate and prove their commitment to work. With limited face-to-face interactions, there is a fear that employees may lose out on opportunities for career growth. 

The survey further revealed that a similar proportion of employees also believe that their chances of career growth could be reduced if they don't go to the office as much. As remote work becomes the new normal, it is essential to find a balance between the benefits of working from home and the opportunities that come with being in the office.

Back to the Office by Choice

As the world continues to navigate the post-pandemic landscape, the concept of work has undergone a paradigm shift. The new normal is a hybrid work model, which offers the best of both worlds - the flexibility of remote work and the social interaction of office work. 

Interestingly, a recent LinkedIn survey shows that a majority of Indian professionals (78%) are back to work from the office by choice. This is a clear indication of the importance of social interaction and face-to-face communication in the workplace. 

It appears that for many workers, the benefits of working from the office, such as increased productivity and better collaboration, outweigh the potential risks of exposure to the virus. Additionally, 86% of Indians feel positive about working in the office compared to a year ago, indicating that people are beginning to adjust to the new normal. 

As organizations adapt to this new reality, it will be interesting to see how they strike a balance between remote work and office work to meet the needs of their employees and maintain a productive work environment.

Thursday is the New Friday

Thursday has become the new Friday for Indian workers. A whopping 79% of Indians have said that they feel like Thursday is the new Friday. This could be because Friday is the least popular day for workers to go to the office. It seems that Indian professionals are not just working to live but also living to work.

But why has Thursday taken over as the new Friday? Perhaps it's because workers want to spend more time with their loved ones. After all, workers spend more time with family and friends on Fridays. They use the day to unwind, relax, and recharge for the weekend.

As a result, Indian professionals are structuring their work weeks differently. They're prioritizing their work on Mondays and Tuesdays, taking a break in the middle of the week, and finishing their tasks by Wednesday or Thursday. This way, they can enjoy their Fridays with their loved ones.

It seems that Indian workers have found a way to balance their professional and personal lives. They're not just clocking in and out of work; they're making time for what truly matters. And who knows, perhaps in the future, we might have to rename Friday to "Family Day."

The Importance of Chai Break Bonding

Remember those good old days of sipping a hot cup of chai while chitchatting with colleagues at the office? Well, it turns out that we are not alone in missing that bonding experience. According to this survey, 72% of Indian employees miss the camaraderie that comes with a chai break in the workplace.

For many workers, social interactions, efficient face-to-face meetings, and building work relationships are some of the top reasons for heading into the office. In fact, informal conversations with colleagues and team leaders can lead to unlocking new career opportunities and increasing recall value.

But the importance of chai break bonding goes beyond just building social connections. The survey found that impromptu exchanges during these breaks can also help boost long-term career growth when done with intention. As many as 15% of Indian employees reported that they are improving their visibility to management by having informal conversations with team leaders while at work.

Conclusion

The pandemic has undoubtedly reshaped the way we work and interact with our colleagues. As the world slowly adjusts to the new normal, it's essential to understand the changing attitudes towards remote work and the significance of in-person interactions.

At The Wellness Tribe, we understand the importance of employee well-being and the impact it has on overall business performance. We offer customized corporate wellness programs that focus on enhancing employee engagement, improving productivity, and fostering a positive work environment. Our programs include physical fitness, nutrition, mental health, and stress management to ensure holistic well-being.

So, if you're a business owner or an HR professional looking to create a positive and healthy workplace culture, contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your wellness goals.

Wellness

A New Approach to Corporate Wellness: Putting the Focus on the Team

May 5, 2023
Nitesh Padghan

In today's fast-paced work environment, corporate wellness programs often prioritize self-care to combat stress, burnout, and mental health issues. However, an emphasis on self-care might not be the ultimate solution for employee well-being. 

Instead, organizations should consider adopting a collective approach to wellness, fostering connections and support among team members.

Embracing the Collective Approach to Wellness

Moving beyond the individualistic mindset requires a paradigm shift in how we perceive and address workplace challenges. By reframing adversity as a shared experience, employees can strengthen their connections and work together to overcome obstacles. This approach allows team members to pool their resources, learn from one another, and develop novel strategies, creating a more resilient and supportive work environment.

One effective way to implement this mindset is by introducing "relational pauses" into the workplace. A relational pause is a temporary break from task work in which team members are invited to discuss how their work affects them personally. This exercise aims to facilitate genuine and authentic connections among employees, allowing them to support one another better and collectively navigate the challenges they face.

Uncovering the Power of "Struggling Well" as a Team

When adversity is framed as a collective experience, employees can relate to one another more effectively, leading to increased compassion and empathy. Sharing personal experiences allows team members to see each other in a more nuanced light, revealing both strengths and weaknesses. This openness fosters an environment where individuals can grow, learn, and lean on one another during challenging times.

Discussing emotions helps disperse overwhelming feelings and enables employees to make sense of their experiences. As teams practice relational pauses, they become more aware of their own dynamics and can make deliberate choices about how they interact with one another. This self-awareness and intentionality can lead to a more cohesive, empathetic, and supportive team environment.

Practical Ways to Incorporate Relational Pauses into the Workplace

Here are some suggestions on how to integrate relational pauses into your organization:

  • Make it a regular part of team meetings: Encourage team members to share their thoughts and feelings during status meetings. This will help normalize the practice and create a supportive atmosphere where employees feel comfortable opening up.
  • Respond to escalating emotions: If tensions rise during a meeting or project, take a moment to pause and focus on the emotional dynamics at play. Encourage team members to share their feelings and listen empathetically to one another.
  • Develop loss rituals: In situations where employees face significant setbacks or losses, create rituals that enable emotions to be acknowledged and processed. Sharing experiences and emotions helps build resilience and fosters a sense of shared purpose.
  • Incorporate relational pauses into existing wellness initiatives: Use existing wellness programs as a platform for introducing relational pauses. Focusing on work's emotional realities can make these initiatives more meaningful and impactful.

Case Studies: Successful Implementation of Relational Pauses

1. Redemptive Design Associates

Redemptive Design Associates, a design consultancy specializing in repurposing office spaces, has successfully integrated relational pauses into their workflow. 

After failed pitches, the team takes a moment to discuss their emotions and experiences, allowing them to process their frustrations, sadness, and hopefulness together, and fostering a supportive and understanding environment.

2. Palliative Care Unit

A palliative care unit in a large hospital has implemented a routine for discussing feelings after a patient's passing. By sharing their emotions, the staff members can better cope with their grief and support one another during difficult times.

3. Pacific Life Re's "Tea & Talk" Meetings

The London office of Pacific Life Re holds informal "Tea & Talk" meetings, where employees come together to discuss topics of shared concern. These gatherings, hosted by a wellness champion, have no fixed agenda, encouraging participants to share their thoughts and feelings in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.

Embracing Emotions at Work

It's not uncommon for managers to hesitate when it comes to discussing emotions at work. However, smart leaders understand that embracing emotional openness can lead to improved communication, resilience, and teamwork. Encouraging employees to discuss and collectively work through challenges creates a supportive environment where everyone can thrive.

By fostering a culture of open communication, employees can build stronger connections with their colleagues and better understand each other's perspectives. This promotes a sense of shared purpose, improving collaboration and helping the team navigate adversity together.

Closing Thoughts

As organizations continue to evolve, it is crucial to reevaluate our approach to corporate wellness. We can create a more supportive and resilient work environment by shifting the focus from self-care to collective well-being.

Fostering genuine connections among employees should be at the heart of modern corporate wellness initiatives. By embracing relational pauses and collective well-being, organizations can empower their employees to thrive together, leading to a more resilient, empathetic, and supportive work culture.

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This month we are focusing on food and how it affects your mental health. Join us as we bring in the most relevant interesting content from across the wellness segment.

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