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.

A new culture and generation gap.

Anonymous Author
A new culture and generation gap.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
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.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
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.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
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 upvotes
Anonymous Author
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.
10 upvotes
Anonymous Author
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.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
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.  https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-flow-2794768
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
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.
0 upvotes
Anonymous Author
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.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
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?
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
My first thought was a series of questions: Why DO the devs need to work the upcoming weekends? How did the project get delayed so much? Were there no signs that indicated this delay? Why should the team suffer? Why not evaluate current burn during the week and adjust as needed? Can the launch not be delayed? My second thought was: Why not ask for innovative ways in which you can achieve your business outcomes (not just delivery). Can you release with fewer features (reduce scope), reduce gold plating anywhere, or release a slightly buggy version as a beta? How about bringing in other teams to pair with the current devs? Crowdsource testing?  There are many ways to solve a problem, and I believe that empowering teams to achieve their business outcomes will help them think of powerful solutions. Finally, I believe (like many on this thread) that the 9-5 job expectation needs to end. We are living in a remote "Existence from home" mode and cannot cling onto a strict schedule anymore. Life happens. Hiring people  for a role and asking them to help meet business outcomes and OKRs for the team should be HR's approach IMO. PS: Not a millennial.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I’ve always believed that, unless it was unexpected / emergency and evening or weekend work required is only due to unmananged expectations and/or poor project management. Plan appropriately and staff/cost properly and you will have happy employees that won’t leave.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I’ve seen a greater choice, flexibility, and mobility verses previous generations. Priorities change over time. Really need weekends worked? There will be a price they will be willing to accept for that work.
0 upvotes
Anonymous Author
As they’re the largest generation in the workforce, you’re likely projecting to the “who” this is, but you should also hire some folks over 40. Anyhow, my thoughts here are it sounds like you didn’t empower the team to hit a goal and are now demanding they work weekends at a time when it is easy for them to find other work and talent is in demand. Best of luck recruiting!
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I agree this is a management issue, not a millennial issue. Might I suggest you "ask" them to work a few weekends in exchange for time off during the week when the project is out the door.
3 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I think its about not setting the proper expectations when they are hiring or no mentioning of it in the job posting/job description. I think saying that this is generational thing is stereotyping, in my experience millennials are more keen to after hours/weekend work then generation X
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
We took it as it was part of our jobs moving up in IT. If there was an issue, project, or whatever that surrounded your job, you worked it. No questions asked unless you had a good for not doing so, but then you found someone who could cover for you. I can't count how many weekends I work the whole weekend and continued into the next week.
0 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I hear you, and when they felt they are being push too hard, they ran over to the competition.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Let's flip this question around and look at it from a different angle for a minute. What is it about the project that has resulted in the need to work overtime to deliver it? Could it be that the timeframes were unrealistic to start with, or that the scope has crept out significantly, that the original timeframe is not feasible, or maybe it's that the team had other priorities preventing them from delivering.  Finally, was the expectation set at the start of the project that it could be a death march to get it delivered?  Millenials have grown up with reports of burn out and work/life balance and are fortunate enough to be working in a time where productivity can be enhanced through Tech. They hold different values to other generations, and the thing is they hold skills that have marketable value so they know they can push back when things threaten those values.  There's no right answer to this - it requires some meeting in the middle.
3 upvotes