What are your thoughts on why the millennials won’t work on weekends? Why they resist so hard to do it? We will be delivering soon an app stack & to be sure that we will be delivering on time. I told to my DEV team ( All millennials ) that we have to work the upcoming weekends. Their reaction was unbelievable. They fought me more of this than any other issue we’d faced before.

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Assistant Director IT Auditor in Education, 10,001+ employees
A new culture and generation gap.
Executive Architect in Healthcare and Biotech, 10,001+ employees
It could depend on the expectations that were set when the team members were hired.  Most shops I've worked at set the expectation that night and weekend work could be expected during a release push, or to fix urgent customer issues.   Also the issue may be generational, but not because of a new sense of entitlement.   Younger employees could be just as willing to push back on longer hours as their more senior counterparts when family responsibilities or health issues arise.
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GVP in Software, 10,001+ employees

Thanks Arthur, great point and communicating effectively is important here. Beyond specific projects, what's your opinion on the overall cultural difference and approach to work? It can be hard if folks who work harder and sacrifice family/other priorities are rewarded over those who don't on a regular basis.

Executive Architect in Healthcare and Biotech, 10,001+ employees

Mayank, assuming we're talking about an ethical, "at-will" salaried employment relationship, we cannot expect that the number of hours worked is a direct measure of how loyal or appreciative one's employer will be.   

On a given team, the capacity to address a business need is going to be about individuals, skills, and results, and less about cultural or generational factors.  There are multiple dimensions of individuals' capabilities and needs at play in this situation.  We're all making choices based on many factors.

There's also the question of how a given job or work challenge maps to each individual's (Maslow's) hierarchy of needs and what he/she might be doing instead, if not being asked to work late.  If an employee loves the work, the choice might be easy.   If there are competing family or life objectives, the choice may be different.   Not surprisingly, the shift to work-at-home has also shifted the choices we're making about putting in extra hours.  

And how secure does that employee feel about  their job or compensation - this could also be a factor.   Again I'm assuming an ethical employer who does not encourage or exploit employees' insecurity about their jobs. 

Look at the situation from the employer's perspective.  Ultimately employees and contractors will be retained and rewarded based on their perceived value, and the difficulty of replacing them.   

Often this doesn't look "fair", but I would posit that many employees' contributions are not seen by their peers or, or their peers are focusing on the wrong metrics.

A manager/employer is going to assemble the best team possible given the situation.  Depending on the outcome, the employer might be motivated to consider other options like hiring/training additional personnel including outsourced assistance.  The employer doesn't have a choice.  Deliver what the customer expects, or a competitor will.

Principal Information Security Officer in Education, 10,001+ employees
Just my personal opinion (and $0.02) and this should not be a general stereotype of all millenials (as they are a diverse and non-monolithic demographic) but for many in the current younger generation (those in their 20's or early 30's) it appears to be all about experiences and quality of life (including friends) versus money or even other traditional life goals (marriage, family, etc).  Now this may have been before the pandemic and accompanying resulting economic collapse but many appeared more concerning with living various life experiences to the max (taking vacations, flying to Thailand and other exotic locations) than working and saving money, buying house (or even a car).  Therefore working on weekends or long hours after work might be an anathema to someone whose highest priorities are oriented much more towards friends and life outside of work.
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GVP in Software, 10,001+ employees

Agreed. Thanks for the thoughtful response Harry. This creates an interesting conflict in the workplace though as people collaborate on projects and have different expectations.

How do you balance this at work?

Principal Information Security Officer in Education, 10,001+ employees

Expectations should almost certainly be set by employer (and employee) at the beginning of their employment at an organization -- during the interview as well as when an offer is proffered.

 Interview: "You are aware that this position can involve the periodic need for after hours and/or weekend work to meet dates for deliverables, etc.  Is this ok with you?"  

When the offer is being made:  "We want to be fully transparent and up front, this is a salary position and will require additional work after hours or on weekends from time to time.  Our offer is contingent upon your acceptance of that condition'.  

Then after the employee accepts the offer and before they begin work you may wish to reinforce that condition of the position  (you may even wish to have them sign an agreement in writing).

Director, Information Security Engineering and Operations in Manufacturing, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
Can I ask why you think they should work on the weekends?
I mean, without proper compensation of course, and assuming it wasn't something that was agreed upon previously, during hiring.

I'm not a millennial, but dealt with managers that thought that my employment at the company means that the company owns me.

I have a talent. I provide my talent in exchange for payment. In a sense, I'm just contracting for you, and do I this M-F, 8:00-5:00. That's it. You want more of my time, pay me. I may or may not choose to accept your offer.
7 4 Replies
GVP in Software, 10,001+ employees

Interesting point Ronny. Per 's point above, do you think it unfair if someone does go beyond the 9-5pm and is consistently rewarded for doing so?

Director, Information Security Engineering and Operations in Manufacturing, 5,001 - 10,000 employees

Well... to be honest, the initial question annoyed me. It's stating that a whole class of people behaves in a certain way, and is very arrogant. I've worked with millennials and older people. Some were great, some were not. 
I agree with Arthur's comment completely.
I also think that you should not expect people to be your slaves at work.

CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

I think this is less about slave labor and 9-5 boundaries as it is about getting the job done. And that's what it's always been to me. If the job for which you're hired is to deliver a system, and you're an exempt employee who has agreed to those conditions up front, then that is the expectation of that job. What's not clear is if it's one weekend or many, will there be comp time, etc. I also agree that this doesn't have to be tagged as just a millenial-only issue.

Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
When I consider my own experiences (30+ years) and also discuss it with millennial relatives that can be brutally honest.... they have seen as have I, many loyal employees work those weekends and get laid off along with everyone else.  I think they have watched the 2008/10 down turn and now COVID, and dedication and extra work doesn't mean much.  Don't tell us there will be compensation and benefits in the future for hard work.  It's a pay it now, play it now. live it now generation.  I know all older and wiser employees know employment can end at any time, for many reasons.   It's always been this way.   The new generation just learned the lesson before joining the workforce.   I gladly worked weekends and late for the promotions I received in the future, but it was a gamble.  Now, I think this generation isn't willing to gamble, and I don't know if I were 25 years old again if I would gamble either.
Chief Information Officer in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
When I asked my millennial child, this question his response was interesting and maybe representative of the generation. Millennials value life work balance and experiences over material things. Unlike the baby boomers before them, millennials are less inclined to work longer to buy things. Additionally, millennials value life work balance and value their down time, making them less likely to work weekends or over time in many instances.
VP of Global IT and Cybersecurity in Manufacturing, 501 - 1,000 employees
Aside from millennials, I'm not sure that any of us really want to work weekends, unless its special situation (critical release, upgrade, cutover, outage, security issue, etc), most of us would rather have the downtime to relax and recharge our body and mind. 

Sometimes I think we ourselves, our teams, or leadership experience a mental state that psychologists refer to as flow. As long as its not every single weekend, and the team is engaged, flow may make things more enjoyable and has many other advantages. 

Director of IT in Transportation, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
The work ethic has shifted in America as has the work space. People who in my time screwed up would be fired now as we see due to the cocoon they are promoted.  If you get the golden ticket from the correct school you by pass harder working people so I can understand the lack of passion.
We need to change the country to a meritocracy where those who pull themselves up by their own boot straps can make a difference rather than those born with a golden spoon are given every break for every failure. 
These kids have to see how as individuals it is their lives and what real achievement is beyond clicking on social media and having mom and dad do everything for them.
As Joe Montana said, "When I screwed up it motivated me to work harder."  We need to bring this back.
Hope I didn't gone on too long but I just watched the RNC.
CEO in Software, 2 - 10 employees
Millennial here. It's not a generational issue. It's a managerial issue. If you failed to properly estimate your project and have a tight deadline - that's your fault, not your teams. Don't punish your team by making them work weekends when you didn't estimate properly.

There is a time and place for work that extends past normal working hours: my team just spent three weekends together trying to get our MVP out. After launch, I would never ask them to work weekends if they don't have to.
CTO in Finance (non-banking), 11 - 50 employees
How do you think it would have went if you asked them how they wanted to assure delivery rather than deciding for them what measures should be taken?

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