flexiblejobA study published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that employees born between 1980 and 1985, known as the “millennial generation” of workers, would choose workplace flexibility over financial rewards.

The PwC NextGen survey of 44,000 workers, in conjunction with the London Business School and the University of Southern California, also showed that this generation of workers would choose work-life balance and the opportunity for overseas assignments over greater financial benefits.

Comparing the responses of millennials and non-millennials at the same stage of their careers, the survey found revealed that millennials are more likely to stay in a job if they feel supported and appreciated, are part of a cohesive team and have greater flexibility over where and how much they work.

In contrast, the non-millennial generation place greater importance on pay and development opportunities, the study found.

For both generations flexibility was shown to be a key priority, with 21% of female and 15% of male respondents saying they would give up some of their pay and delay a promotion in exchange for more workplace flexibility.

However, unlike past generations who were prepared to work beyond their contracted hours to improve their chances of securing promotions and pay rises, millennials are largely unwilling to give up a good work-life balance, according to the study.

The survey suggested that this generation of workers is not convinced that such early career sacrifices are worth the potential later rewards.

PwC Head of People Gaenor Bagley, said:

“Millennials want more from their jobs than just financial reward. 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.”

Bagley added:

“The Millennial generation will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020 so it is vital employers understand what motivates this generation. Many companies will have to completely re-think how they attract and reward their workers, or risking losing the best talent to companies which adapt to meet their needs.”