“Work-Life-Balance”: Wie hat sich das Verhältnis von Arbeit und Privatleben Generationsübergreifend verändert?

“Work-Life-Balance”: Wie hat sich das Verhältnis von Arbeit und Privatleben Generationsübergreifend verändert?

Jede Generation wächst in einer gewissen zeitlichen Begebenheit auf. Das prägt nicht nur deren Werte, sondern auch ihr Verhältnis zu Arbeit und Privatleben. Workaholic oder doch Work-Life-Balance? Welches Lebensprinzip ist aktuell angesagt?

X,Y,Z? Generationen im Vergleich

Die Bezeichnungen von Generationen klingen alle etwas verwirrend somit ist es schwer sich etwas darunter vorzustellen. Damit Du den Zusammenhang besser verstehen kannst, haben wir Dir eine kurze Übersicht über die vier Generationen, die beim Thema Work-Life-Balance zu beachten sind, aufgelistet.

Babyboomer

Die Babyboomer bezeichnet die Menschen, welche zwischen den Jahren 1955 und 1969 geboren wurden, also jetzt etwa zwischen 64 und 50 Jahren alt sind. Ihren Generations-Namen haben sie daher, dass sie der geburtenstärkste Jahrgang nach Ende des 2. Weltkriegs sind. Aufgewachsen mit dem Wirtschaftsaufschwung in Deutschland, zeichnen sie sich besonders durch Idealismus, Liberalismus und Erfolg aus. Dadurch, dass diese Generation ihre Arbeit in den Mittelpunkt rückt und besonders die persönliche Karriere anstrebt, haben sie den Begriff “Workaholic” geschaffen und geprägt.

Generation X

Die Generation X bezeichnet die Geburtsjahre von 1965 bis 1980. Die Überschneidungen der Generationen zeigen, dass es hier keine klaren und definierten Grenzen gibt. Im Gegensatz zur Vorgänger Generation, musste diese mit der Wirtschaftskrise aufwachsen. Einen guten Job zu finden war, aufgrund der zuvor so Geburtenstarken Jahrgänge, sehr schwer. Sie gelten allgemein als besonders ambitioniert und ehrgeizig und haben als oberstes Ziel, sich ein materiell abgesichertes Leben zu erarbeiten. Anders als die Babyboomer sehen sie die Arbeit aber als ein Mittel zum Zweck, weniger als persönliche Offenbarung und Wertschätzung.

Generation Y

Mit dem Übergang in die Generation Y, geboren zwischen 1980 und 2000, erlangt die Bezeichnung “Work-Life-Balance” immer mehr an Bedeutung. Globalisierung, Boom der Technik, Internet – Das sind weltbewegende Veränderungen mit denen diese Generation, auch “Millennials” oder ab 1995 “Digital Natives” genannt, aufgewachsen ist. Das Bildungsniveau war bei keiner Vorgänger-Generation so hoch, wie bei dieser. Den Millennials ist besonders wichtig, dass ihnen die Arbeit Spaß bereitet und ihren persönlichen Interessen entspricht. Sie arbeiten gerne auch in ihrer Freizeit an persönlichen Projekten, weswegen die Grenze zwischen Arbeitsplatz und Privatleben zunehmend verschwimmt.

Generation Z

Die Generation Z bezeichnet die Jahrgänge zwischen 1995 und 2015. Die Digitalisierung ist bei ihnen schon komplett in den Alltag integriert, weswegen sie auch des öfteren Generation “YouTube” genannt werden. Diese Generation wächst in einem Zeitalter auf, indem fast alles möglich ist. Das führt bei ihnen oft zur Ratlosigkeit und Unbeholfenheit. Sie bereisen nach dem Abitur erstmal Länder wie Australien und Kanada, probieren sich in verschiedenen Studiengängen und Jobs aus und wissen eigentlich nicht genau, wohin sie gehören. Anders als die Vorgängergeneration, möchten diese wieder eine strikte Trennung von Privatleben und Arbeit. Überstunden oder Wochenendarbeit sind ihnen ein Dorn im Auge, der Wunsch nach Work-Life-Balance ist sehr groß.

Was ist Work-Life-Balance?

Wie der Begriff schon sagt, geht es im Allgemeinen um die Balance, also ein ausgewogenes Verhältnis von Arbeit und Privatleben. Dass das gar nicht so leicht zu erreichen ist, zeigt die Anzahl an Erkrankungen, verursacht durch Stress. Kurzfristig einen der beiden Lebensbereiche (meist ist es das Privatleben) zu vernachlässigen ist unbedenklich. Geschieht das jedoch über einen längeren Zeitraum wirkt es sich meist auf die Gesundheit aus.

Immer mehr Unternehmen erkennen das Problem und arbeiten daran, die Work-Life-Balance in ihrem Betrieb zu verbessern. Ausgelaugte und gestresste Mitarbeiter haben ein höheres Ausfallrisiko, sind meist weniger kreativ und selten motiviert.

Möglichkeiten seitens des Unternehmens wären zum Beispiel flexible Arbeitszeitmodelle, die den Mitarbeitern einen ordentlichen Motivationsschub verschaffen können. Selber kannst Du versuchen, Dich in puncto Zeitmanagement weiterzubilden und lernen, wie Du Deine Aufgaben besser organisierst und priorisierst. Der richtige Arbeitsablauf kann Dir viel Zeit ersparen. Hier findest Du mehr Informationen dazu.

Wertewandel in der Arbeitswelt

Der Wandel der Arbeitswelt kann nicht verleugnet werden. Verschiedene Menschen aus unterschiedlichen Generationen fordern angepasste Arbeitsbedingungen. So strebten die Babyboomer und Generation X besonders danach, etwas zu besitzen. Das Augenmerk liegt also auf materieller Sicherheit.

Die folgenden Generationen wollen natürlich auch Besitz. Vielmehr geht es ihnen aber um das Erleben. Sie wollen verschiedene Situationen erleben, Orte und Länder bereisen und all das ohne große Absicherung. Sie sind es gewohnt, wie schnell sich etwas verändern kann und scheuen sich deshalb nicht vor Veränderungen.

Genau diese Eigenschaften der Generationen Y und Z wirken sich auf ihre Arbeitseinstellung aus. Natürlich wollen sie auch gerne erfolgreich sein – nur eben auf ihre Art und Weise. Das Motto lautet hier “Arbeitszeit ist gleich Lebenszeit”. Die Arbeit sollte ihren persönlichen Interessen entsprechen, sie erfüllen und persönlich weiterentwickeln. Anders als bei den Generationen zuvor geht es also nicht darum, den Job zu finden, der das meiste Geld bringt.

Da sich die ältesten der Generation Z erst auf der Suche nach einem Ausbildungs- oder Studienplatz befinden, kann noch nicht genau vorhergesagt werden, wie sich die Arbeitswelt weitgehend entwickeln wird. Studien und Umfragen, wie die der Celepedia Jugendstudie, lassen den weiteren Verlauf jedoch erahnen.

infografik generation z
Die eben genannte Studie fand folgende Charakteristika heraus, die auf die meistern der Digital Nativs 2.0 zutreffen:

  • Die Familie hat oberste Priorität.
  • Sie wünschen sich Sicherheit in allen Lebenslagen.
  • Wohlfühlen & Lifestyle ist ihnen sehr wichtig.
  • Selbstrepräsentation, Anerkennung und materielle Werte sind ihnen sehr wichtig.
  • Sie wollen eine strengere Trennung von Arbeit und Privatleben.

Die Aussagen sprechen dafür, dass sich diese Generation weg von der Work-Life-Balance hin zu einer Work-Life-Separation entwickelt. Der starke Wunsch nach Familie und sozialen Kontakten zeigt die Entwicklung zurück zu klassischen Familienmodellen – der Trend zum heiraten und Kinderkriegen steigt deutlich an.

Veränderungen sind mittlerweile kurzlebig. Genau deshalb müssen auch die Unternehmen immer flexibler werden, um sich an die Wünsche und Bedürfnisse ihrer Mitarbeiter anzupassen. Aufgrund des demografischen Wandels haben die Unternehmen auch bald kaum mehr eine andere Wahl, als ihr Arbeitsangebot so attraktiv wie möglich zu gestalten. Die Geburtenstarken Jahrgänge begeben sich allmählich in die Rente, somit wird ein Großteil der Arbeiter nach und nach wegbleiben, weswegen die wichtige Rolle der Generation Y und Z immer weiter wächst.

Unternehmen die sich diesem Wandel beugen und versuchen die Generationen zu verstehen und ihre Denkweise zu respektieren, können daraus nur gewinnen. Der Kampf um die Arbeitnehmer wird sich weiter zuspitzen. Das Unternehmen, welches seinen Mitarbeitern am meisten Individualität bietet, wird als Sieger herausgehen.

Durch diese Anpassung gewinnen Unternehmen nicht nur motivierte und ambitionierte Arbeitnehmer, sondern können diese bestenfalls auch langfristig an sich binden.

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