Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Flexible working hours are a top priority for Gen Z

New data has revealed the work preferences and career ambitions of UK Gen Z, with a majority shunning traditional 9 to 5 employment in favour of flexible hours and the opportunity to be their own boss. Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR), conducted the global study of Gen Z (defined as between the ages of 16 and 26), including over 2,000 Gen Z in the UK. 

The top three priorities for UK Gen Z when choosing are flexible working hours (44%), a positive and friendly work culture (35%), and the ability to build skills (34%). Surprisingly, one of the least popular considerations was remote work, with only 24% saying that a remote work offering would sway them towards a particular job. The findings show that UK Gen Z care less about where they work, and more about having control over when they work – rather than being confined to a 9-5 job, or a 5 day week, for example.

The findings of this survey point to a generation that does not subscribe to the traditional 9-5, full-time career. Nearly half (49%) say their ultimate career goal is to be financially comfortable, but a ‘traditional’ job is not viewed as the only way to achieve this. In fact, 39% of respondents say they believe a fulfilling job can be achieved in a full time or freelance role, with or without a university degree. Almost a third (32%) of UK Gen Z say their work ethic is determined by passion, and 1 in 5 (20%) say they ‘live to work’, not ‘work to live.’

The self-employed generation

UK Gen Z present as a generation that are motivated by being their own boss. 36% say their ultimate goal is to own their own business or freelance, and 22% say a top career consideration is to be independent and driven. As a result, many are choosing a freelance or self employed career path. 71% freelance already or plan to during their career, with 42% doing so to earn extra income and 39% saying it better suits their lifestyle. 

Many view freelancing or self employment as a viable option in the current economic environment. 38% view freelancing as a good way to make money during rising inflation, and 28% note that freelancing gives people the ability to change their rates in line with fluctuating living costs. 27% say they will consider freelancing if they are impacted by layoffs, although 31% express concern that freelancing full time in the current environment may not be a stable enough career. 

“As the latest generation to enter the workforce, Gen Z is at the forefront of the latest trends transforming the world of work. Amid an economic downturn and a rapidly shifting labour market, we’re seeing Gen Z continue to prioritize flexibility and passion-driven work, making freelance careers an increasingly appealing option,” said Gali Arnon, CMO of Fiverr. “As we’ve observed in the growing community of Gen Z freelancers on Fiverr, the autonomy freelancing affords serves as a major draw for a generation eager to pursue their passions, hone their skills, and have more control over their earnings and career trajectory.”  

The survey was conducted in partnership with Censuswide among a sample of 7,121 Gen Z (defined as those aged 16-26) across the UK, US, Germany, Netherlands, and France, including 2,000 workers in the U.S. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.