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An investigation into Millennials’ perception and experiences of work-life balance in the Irish Public Sector

Henry, Ailís (2020) An investigation into Millennials’ perception and experiences of work-life balance in the Irish Public Sector. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

This study explores Millennials’ perception and experiences of work life balance in the Irish public sector. The Irish public sector is bracing itself for change as almost one third of public servants are due to retire between 2018 and 2028 (Walsh, 2018).

Projections estimate by 2028 85% of Principal officers, two thirds of Assistant Principals and just over 70% of Higher Executive Officers will retire from the civil service (DPER,2018). Simultaneously according to Deloitte (2019) in 2025 the Millennial generation will be the largest in the world, representing three quarters of the workforce. It can be argued that in the next few years Millennials are set to be the next generation of leaders, and so to ensure there is a talent pipeline, Generation X’ will need to be cognisant of Millennials’ attitudes to work so they can attract, engage, retain and develop these future leaders (Bolelli and Durmus, 2017). This study examines if generational differences exist and if literature represents Millennials’ work ethic and characteristics accurately.

Work life balance is essential when it comes to the retention and performance of employees. Research exists on the importance of work life balance for employees within an organisation, and literature shows its importance to millennials in their careers. However, further research is needed to explore the field of work life balance within the context of an all-inclusive, non family centred context. This study also explores, through the use of qualitative approach through the use of semi- structured interviews, if the public sector procedures and policies facilitate Millennials work life balance needs regardless of caring responsibilities or childcare needs. Given the context of 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, this study, like its participants, had to adapt to the new working arrangements, such as working from home. This study compares the working arrangements pre and post Covid-19 and their impact on the Millennials’ perception of WLB. It examines their experiences of working from home and how the evolving situation has changed their understanding of these working arrangements.

This dissertation recommends that the public sector in a post Covid-19 world, facilitates working from home options on a more consistent and regular basis across the entire sector. It also recommends that it changes its flex-bands and that it shows overall more trust in the modern employee.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Issues of Labour and Work > Quality of Work Life / Job Satisfaction
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Dan English
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2021 15:14
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2021 15:14
URI: http://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/4599

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