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WORKFACT WEDNESDAY: Is the 9-to-5 Job Done?

U.S. Workers Look to Innovative Ways of Working

New research, released by ManpowerGroup, reveals a new era of work in which flexibility and balance are in and the traditional “9-to-5 job for life” is out.  Findings from the report “#GigResponsibly: The Rise of NextGen Work”—a global survey of 9,500 people in 12 countries—identifies a shift towards new ways of getting work done, that works for people and business.

ManpowerGroup asked people how they want to work, what motivates them and their views on NextGen Work—part-time, freelance, contract, temporary, or independent contract work.  More control over their schedule (42%), boosting their bank account (41%), and developing new skills (38%) are top reasons why NextGen Work is on the rise.  More than 80% of U.S. workers say NextGen Work is a choice, not a last resort, and builds resilience for less predictable futures.

“The U.S. labor market is fundamentally changing. We’re seeing a growing number of people opting for alternative models over traditional roles. They want flexible careers, the opportunity to develop new skills and to be able to blend work and home more easily,” said Becky Frankiewicz, President, ManpowerGroup North America—in a press release. “At the same time, companies want workforce solutions that find them the best talent when business models and skills needs are changing faster than ever. That’s why NextGen Work is on the rise.”

The vast majority of workers (94%), spanning five generations and both genders, are open to NextGen Work for their next or future position, but their motives vary.

  • Men are slightly more likely than women to look for flexibility to spend time with family (32% vs. 29%) and to seek a less stressful environment (30% vs. 27%).
  • Younger Millennials (ages 18 to 24) and Baby Boomers (ages 50 to 65) prioritize the same things: pay (60% vs. 65%) and work/life balance (48% vs. 64%). Engaging in work that is meaningful to them is also a priority for both generations.
  • Conversely, appetite for learning peaks among older Millennials and declines with age.

NextGen Work is a global phenomenon. Emerging markets like India and Mexico are leading the way with the greatest openness to freelance, contract, temporary, or independent contract work (97%), with mature markets—including the U.S. (94%), with the United Kindom and Australia—close behind (90% and 92% respectively). Germany, Netherlands, and Japan are more resistant to NextGen Work.

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