More than two-thirds (69%) of 2022 college graduates say that circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the importance of work-life balance, according to a recent study from BestColleges.com.
The survey was of 431 college students who have graduated or will graduate in 2022 with a bachelor's or associate degree. It found that work-life balance was important to 89% of graduates, 45% say employers' leadership should demonstrate it; and 74% say achieving this balance takes effort from both parties – the employee and the employer.
"In this tumultuous job market, there has been a lot of talk around young workers demanding certain benefits from employers, and that culture fit is of the utmost importance to them," said Jessica Bryant, an analyst for BestColleges.com. "Our study reveals that it's not as one-sided as that because while some college grads believe employment-related factors are necessary, most are also personally committed to putting in the effort to achieve the work-life balance they desire."
Of those who believe a work-life balance is important, flexible work schedules, health insurance coverage, and wellness benefits were the employment-related factors grads are most likely to believe are necessary for achieving that balance.
66% of grads feel their program prepared them for participation in the workforce – a sizable increase from those of last year's study, 51%. And compared to last year's grads, many more will take time off – 18% in 2022 from 6% in 2021 – while fewer will continue further education – 18% in 2022 from 39% in 2021 – after graduating.
"After more than two years of experiencing college during the pandemic, taking time off after graduation might be a way for some to achieve balance in their life before moving forward with their degree in hand," said Bryant.