New PwC Study on Generational Issues Shows All Ages Want Flexibility

A new generational study by PwC asserts that enhancing workplace flexibility and equity between work and home is one of the keys to improving job satisfaction among Millennials. According to the report, while younger workers are more “tech-savvy, globally focused, informal, and willing to share information, they do not feel more entitled or less committed than their non-Millennial counterparts, and are willing to work just as hard,” the company said. PwC’s NextGen is one of the largest, most comprehensive studies into the attitudes and behaviors of the Millennial generation.

“Those organizations that pay attention to this seismic change and adapt accordingly should find themselves at a competitive advantage and better positioned to retain the talent they work so hard to attract,” said Terri McClements, vice chair and PwC’s U.S. human capital leader. The research was conducted in conjunction with the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and the London Business School. The study included responses from 44,000 employees throughout PwC’s global network of professional services firms, with almost one-quarter of the responses from Millennials.

Among the findings:

  • Millennial and non-Millennial employees alike want greater options in their work hours and location. Millennials and non-Millennials alike want the option to shift their work hours to accommodate their own schedule and are interested in working in locations outside the office.
  • Employees across all generations say they would be willing to forego some pay and delay promotions in exchange for reducing their hours.
  • Given the opportunity, 64% of Millennials (and 66% of non-Millennials) would like to occasionally work from home, and 66% of Millennials (and 64% of non-Millennials) would like the option to occasionally shift their work hours.
  • Across the board, 15% of male employees and 21% of female employees say they would give up some of their pay and slow the pace of promotion in exchange for working fewer hours.

Millennials put a premium on work/life flexibility. Unlike past generations who put an emphasis on their careers and worked well beyond a 40-hour work week in the hope of rising to the well-compensated ranks of a company later on, Millennial employees are not convinced that such early-career sacrifices are worth the potential rewards.