THE trend is for more and more people to opt out of the rat race in the coming years, says Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Distance Education senior lecturer (Management) Dr Nasina Mat Desa.
She advises employers to take heed of the expectations of the new Gen-Y employees who will eventually replace Gen-X and Babyboomers in the workforce.
"Gen-Y has a fresh set of expectations and preferences compared to the workforce of the past. For many young workers, flexible work conditions, social computing and the freedom to use personal devices at work (for instance) can be more important than salary.
"Employers must prepare themselves to understand the wants and needs of the new generation (if they are to retain them)," she says.
According to Malaysia's Gen Y Unplugged', a survey on millennials at work by PricewaterhouseCoopers, issues of sustainability and climate change are of major concern, and will affect their career choices.
Other key characteristics of the Malaysian Gen Y workforce is that they are independent and value the flexibility to balance work and personal life.
Organisations which can quickly adapt and internalise the characteristics of the Gen Y workforce will capture a major advantage in the sourcing, attraction and retention of a highly dynamic workforce, the report read.
Dr Nasina says it's about doing what makes you happy and having balanced lives.
"If you are passionate about your work, you will enjoy whatever you are doing and treat it like a hobby.
"The rewards will come eventually," she says.
She points out that the majority of those caught in the rat race rarely have a balanced life because they have less time to spend with their families and loved ones.
Seeking a balance
Inner happiness, or the balance of physical fitness, emotional stability and spiritual strength, is about having flexibility in your career and having the power to choose the life that you want and deserve. Many individuals now prioritise these aspects of life, she adds.
Dr Nasina herself started her career in the banking industry as a money market dealer and ended up as a human resource practitioner specialising in recruitment, training and development and employee relations before joining the academia.