'Millenial generation' place emphasis on workplace flexibility

Workers in their late twenties and early thirties are prioritising workplace flexibility over promotions and pay rises, new research shows.

A study of 44,000 workers by PwC shows that employees born between 1980 and 1985, known as the 'millennial generation' of workers, would choose more control over their work-life balance rather than financial benefits.

The study, conducted in conjunction with the London Business School and University of Southern California, compared responses among millennials and non-millennials at the same stage of their careers.

The research showed that millennials were more likely to stay in a job if they felt supported, enjoyed being part of a good team and had greater flexibility over where and how much they work. However the non-millennial generation were more interested in pay and development opportunities.

Flexibility was important for both generations of employees, with 21% of female and 15% of male respondents saying they would take a pay cut or delay a promotion to have more workplace flexibility.

But millenials are less likely to give up a good work-life balance in order to stand themselves in better stead for a promotion, the research shows. PwC said this current generation of workers do not believe that such early career sacrifices are worth the potential later rewards.

Some 71% of millennials and 63% of non-millennials admit that their work interfered with their personal lives. Meanwhile 43% of millenials and 24% of non-millennials said they were open when it came to discussing pay with co-workers.

PwC head of people Gaenor Bagley said that millennials were looking for more from their jobs than simply financial gains.

She said: "A strong and supportive team, flexibility and work-life balance are far more likely to keep this generation motivated at work and many would be willing to forgo pay rises and promotions for greater flexibility. Millennials view work as a thing, rather than a place, so companies will need to free themselves from the traditional nine to five mentality if they want to attract and retain this generation of workers."

Copyright Press Association 2013