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How millennials can improve their work-life balance

Paystream News

Wednesday 21st Jun, 2017

Much has been written about how millennials are going to transform workplace culture. This generation will most likely need to work for longer than any before it, meaning their personal and professional lives look set to merge to an extent never seen before.

But how do millennials themselves feel about this?

According to a recent YouGov poll, 25 to 34-year-olds in the UK feel the least positive about their work-life balance of all demographics, with younger workers often struggling to find a sustainable balance between their career responsibilities and personal lives.

How do millennials feel about their work-life balance?

YouGov published the results of its survey in a report entitled 'Work Life Balance - The Tools for Retention', which found that 21 per cent of the UK's 25 to 34-year-olds are currently unhappy with their work-life balance, compared to 15 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 and 14 per cent of 45 to 54-year-olds. By contrast, just 11 per cent of over-55s were unsatisfied with their work-life balance.

Millennials were found to be more likely to work outside of their designated office hours, with 26 per cent admitting to feeling under pressure to do so. Some 38 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds even respond to work-related emails and calls when they are meant to be on holiday, YouGov found.

As a result, 46 per cent of Generation Y have been left feeling alienated from modern life, with more than one-third (34 per cent) envious of their friends with seemingly better work-life balances, thanks to social media making comparisons easy.

If younger workers are so unhappy with the split between their work and social lives, what steps can they take to gain some greater control?

How working for themselves could help

Leaving full-time employment and working on a contract basis is one option that could bring multiple benefits. Like we said earlier, millennials are likely to be in work significantly beyond the current traditional retirement age, so it is important that they are working in a field that they are passionate about and in a role that complements their lifestyle.

Depending on the type of work they do, they may be able to set themselves up as a limited company contractor or freelancer. Working in this way gives the worker more control over their workload, meaning they don't need to accept assignments if they already have a lot on, preventing them from becoming stressed, overworked and losing a grip on their personal lives.

Many people like to work for themselves in this way as it allows them to set their own pay rates, within reason, and determine their own working hours. This makes it the most flexible option for young people who are looking to get on the housing ladder so need to put in extra hours for a little more money, or who want to start a family so need to work fewer hours to fit in around childcare.

Self-employment can be a job for life, so millennials should spend time thinking about what they can offer to businesses and begin thinking about working for themselves. Although making the leap from permanent to contract work can be daunting, it can be more than worth it in the long run, as the benefits of more flexible hours and potentially higher take-home pay thanks to greater tax efficiency will soon be seen.

To help millennials achieve an even better work-life balance, PayStream's My PSC service is on hand to provide advice and support on all of the tax and accountancy aspects of running a limited company.

The administrative help provided by PayStream leaves contractors with more time to spend completing contracts to the highest possible standard. This means they can leave work behind at their end of their working day, safe in the knowledge that their limited company is being run in the most tax-efficient way possible, with minimum fuss.

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