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New research from Virgin Money reveals Generation Z and Millennials prioritise flexibility and a better work-life balance when looking for a new job.

A survey of over 3,000 workers, carried out by Censuswide for Virgin Money, reveals 46% of Gen Z (16-24-year-olds) and over half (59%) of Millennials (25–34-year-olds) consider flexi-time to be one of the most important aspects when applying for a job.

More than eight in ten (81%) Millennials and three quarters (75%) of Gen Z also want more choice around when and where they work, rating hybrid working as the preferred option over going back into the office full-time. Seven in ten (72%) across both age groups would also rate remote working over full-time office working.

Just under seven out of ten Gen Z-ers (69%) and just under three quarters (74%) of Millennials also believe generating a good work-life balance is more, or equally, important as a good salary and being a senior member of a business.

In line with this, more than nine in ten (95%) workers said working flexibly has improved one or more areas of their life including general happiness (54%), mental wellbeing (54%) and physical wellbeing (40%).

Syreeta Brown, group chief people and communications officer, said: “In 2023 we shouldn’t be forcing colleagues back into the office for a set number of days each week or expect them to be at their workstations nine to five. Although some industry leaders would say otherwise, that approach is long past its expiration date, and it seems the next generation of workers think so too. This research indicates that people feel healthier and happier when offered more flexibility, allowing them to bring the best version of themselves to work. They simply want employers to recognise that a better work-life balance can be beneficial for everyone, including the business itself.”

The research comes as Virgin Money celebrates one year on from the launch of its flexible working package, ‘A Life More Virgin’. The new working model offers all colleagues whose role is not dependant on a specific location the opportunity to work anywhere in the UK, removing geographical boundaries for the majority of roles.

Since introducing A Life More Virgin, the number of applications to each vacant role at the bank has more than tripled (+211%), while employee attrition has halved (-57%). The new working model has also helped to significantly enhance the diversity of applicants to roles at Virgin Money. Employee data shows the number of applicants declaring protected characteristics, such as ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender, has risen by 204 per cent.