Gen Z: We Want To Work Less Hours and From Home But Want Career Progression!


What Are the Different Generations?

According to Statista, in 2022, among the working-age population of the United Kingdom, there were approximately 3.71 million people employed from the Baby Boomer Generation, followed by 11.4 million Gen X employed, 12.2 million Millennials, and 4.3 million Gen Z.

Generation Name Born Age
Generation Z or iGen 1997–2010 27 – 14
Millennial Generation or Generation Y 1981–1996 43 – 28
Generation X 1965–1980 59 – 44
Baby Boom Generation 1946–1964 78 – 60
The Silent Generation 1928–1945 96 – 79

Annual Leave

We asked survey respondents how much of their annual leave they use. We took into consideration the different generation’s ages to discover 

I don’t use my annual leave
The generation who are most likely to not use their annual leave are Baby Boomers, 44% of those surveyed who answered ‘I don’t use my annual leave’ were born between 1946 and 1964.

I hardly use my annual leave
Of those who hardly use their annual leave a third were Gen X, born between 1965 and 1980.

I make sure to use all of it
Of those respondents who make sure they use all of their annual leave, the most popular generation was Millennials or Gen Y (1981 – 1996) with over a third selecting this answer.

Workaholics, it seems that the older generation aren’t the ones to use their holiday, unlike the somewhat younger millennial generation.

Career Progression

With their progression and future in mind, we surveyed the generations to understand how important career progression is to them.

With a decent amount of experience under their belt but not yet ready to give up on their progression, over a third of baby boomers shared that career progression is somewhat important to them. Even at age 60 – 78, they’re not ready to pack in just yet. Maybe with the rise in the cost of living, this generation is focused on getting as much progression and money as they can before they retire for good.

Millennials also placed importance on their career progression with 43% of them sharing that it is somewhat important to them, with some years at work still ahead of them, they’ve still got time to progress in their careers.

Interestingly 28% of Gen X respondents shared that career progression is neither important nor unimportant. Maybe a pay rise or a new title would be nice, but they aren’t going to go to extreme lengths to get it.

Fresh new talent entering the pool, however, 50% of Gen Z shared that career progression is very important to them but unsurprisingly, 100% of silent generation respondents shared that career progression is not important to them.

Working Hours

Stereotypically the hard workers, baby boomers live up to their stereotype, with one in five reporting that they work up to 50 hours a week and 17% even working more than 50 hours. When asked what time they started work, it’s probably no surprise that 42% start between 6am and 9am and a huge quarter of respondents finishing work between 7pm and 9pm.

36% of Gen X reported working 35-40 hours a week, with 17% working 40-45 hours.

Unsurprisingly, almost a quarter of Millennials reported working a standard 30-35 hour week and over a third reported a late start, coming into work or signing on between 9am and 10am and one in three finishing between 4pm and 5pm.

A quarter of Gen Z respondents reported that they only work between 10 and 25 hours a week. More laid back, one in seven Gen Z respondents also shared that they start work at different times every day.

Taking on a part-time role or working around their retirement, the silent generation reported working between 5-10 hours a week.

Working from Home

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the workplace has seen a huge shift in working habits as working from home has become the norm. Although the last 12 months have seen more employers bring their staff force back into the office, we wanted to know what the generation’s opinions are on working from home.

Over one in five baby boomers and 100% of the silent generation reported that they prefer working in the office. Quite the traditionalists when it comes to work, it seems that they have been less open to working from home.

In the mix, over 57% of millennials shared that they enjoy a mixture of working from home and the office in recent times.

When it comes to Gen Z however, a quarter shared that they much prefer working from home with 38% also enjoying the flexibility of working from home and the office.

What Do The Generations Want From The Workplace?

Head of HR at instantprint Vicki Russell, gives her insights into our survey and shares her top tips for working with different generations and navigating the employment landscape.

Baby Boomers
It’s crucial for employers to recognise that this generation still has so much to contribute as they have accumulated substantial career, and life, experience. Whilst some boomers may be reaching the phase of preparing for retirement and considering future prospects they should not be perceived as at the end of their career journey. Engaging in open discussions with this demographic regarding retirement plans, part-time employment options, and the gradual transfer of responsibilities when they express readiness is essential.

Gen X
As the baby boomer generation transitions into retirement, Gen X emerges as the most experienced cohort within your workforce. Renowned for their diligent work ethic and tendency to underutilise annual leave, they may not always prioritise career progression. Leveraging their wealth of knowledge and expertise can significantly contribute to achieving your business objectives. However, it’s crucial to actively engage and retain these invaluable employees, ensuring the preservation of their skills and experience for the benefit of your organisation.

With millennials comprising the largest segment of our workforce population, they represent the primary cohort within your staff. This generation consistently seeks new opportunities, ranging from flexible work arrangements to avenues for career advancement. Consequently, it’s imperative to focus attention on meeting the needs and aspirations of this demographic. Maintain a sense of familiarity while injecting excitement that millennials will want to engage with. In today’s fast-paced world, embracing flexibility is paramount, yet it’s equally crucial to establish clear expectations. Millennials, in particular, tend to value the structure of a traditional workweek but thrive when it’s complemented by enticing workplace incentives.

Gen Z
As the latest entrants into the workforce, Gen Z has navigated through unprecedented challenges, including a global pandemic, the rapid evolution of technology and AI, and a distinct perspective on work. This generation demands the full attention of employers, with their expectations spanning from prioritising emotional well-being to flexible work arrangements, shorter work hours, and more holiday time. Employers seeking to attract and retain talent from this demographic may need to reimagine their business practices to align with the unique needs and expectations of Gen Z.


Posted by: Branwell Ford