For Millennials, Pursuit of Happiness at Work Means Having Purpose, While Everyone Else Wants Control

Philadelphia (August 2, 2016) – Most people believe Millennials are demanding in the workplace because they want to be in charge, but a new study finds they are more driven by a sense of purpose. All other generations need control to thrive at work.

These findings emerge from a new study, called The Power of Choice at Work, from MARS DRINKS – a 100 percent workplace-focused division of Mars, Incorporated – that sought to understand what gives people a sense of well-being at work.

“People want to know their opinions matter,” said Dr. Tracy Brower, MARS DRINKS global vice president of WORKPLACE VITALITYTM. “The most important factor in fostering a sense of well-being is offering employees the opportunity to make meaningful choices.”

Drawing upon extensive literature review, focus groups, in-depth interviews, direct observation and conducted across 4000 people in North America of all generations, regions, genders and types of work, the study found:
• When people feel a sense of control, they are 57 percent more likely to be engaged, 55 percent more likely to collaborate, 53 percent more likely to be productive and 86 percent more likely to enjoy a sense of well-being
• They are also more likely to report feeling satisfied with their lives, being healthy, having positive relationships and experiencing a sense of overall happiness

Organizations that participated in the study offered workers a wide range of choices, including options to decide when they work. They also empowered workers to decide where to work by providing a range of office settings – from phone booths and huddle spaces to café-style lounges featuring a wide variety of workplace beverage choices.

However, as the data also illustrates, the key is for companies to understand how workers view and utilize the various alternative workspace options and this varies widely by generation. For example, the research showed that while workers of all ages enjoyed their in-office café experiences, there were significant differences:

• Millennial employees look at work cafés as an alternative work space;
• Generation X employees use work cafés to take a break and decompress; and,
• Baby Boomers are more inclined to socialize in cafés than focus on work

“The ‘work cafe’ experience attracts all generations, but for different reasons,” said Dr. Brower. “Millennials, who thrive on collaboration, prefer to use the work café for informal collaboration sessions. On the other hand, GenXers equate productivity with effort, so they like to grab a cup quickly and get back to work. Baby Boomers feel friendships can enhance their well-being, which is why they are likely to socialize in the work cafe.”

“The major takeaway from the study is if you build it, they may not come,” Dr. Brower pointed out. “If the company vibe says, ‘you must be at your desk to be perceived as working,’ it will be difficult to convince people to use the work café as alternative space,” Dr. Brower pointed out.

The Power of Choice at Work study is part of a larger body of research around WORKPLACE VITALITY, a concept developed by MARS DRINKS to help organizations understand how to foster vibrant, thriving workplaces. The research collectively demonstrates that for organizations to reach their full potential, they must create work environments where people have a sense of empowerment and belonging. MARS DRINKS calls this kind of place – where collaboration, engagement, wellbeing and productivity meet – WORKPLACE VITALITY

To learn more about MARS DRINKS, its portfolio of workplace designed technology and products and WORKPLACE VITALITY, visit

MARS DRINKS creates great tasting moments at work by being at the center of workplace engagement, collaboration, productivity and well-being. Throughout North America, Europe and Asia, MARS DRINKS supports businesses who want to provide great working environments for their people. Part of Mars, Incorporated MARS DRINKS focuses its energy and resources on the workplace, with the belief that people are the most important asset to any business. In 1973 MARS DRINKS introduced KLIX® the first-ever fully automatic in-cup drinks vending machine that serves large manufacturing channels across Europe. In 1984 MARS DRINKS pioneered the single serve hot drinks category, introducing FLAVIA®, the first system for making hot drinks using fresh ground coffee and leaf teas sealed in individual servings. Through its ALTERRA® Coffee Roasters coffees, THE BRIGHT TEA CO. ® teas, and DOVE® Hot Chocolate, MARS DRINKS creates more than 1 billion great tasting moments at work! Find MARS DRINKS online at

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance. Mars, Incorporated is proud to have been ranked 85th in the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, compiled by the Great Place to Work® Institute, for the third consecutive year.


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