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College-Educated Millennials Seek a Work-Life Balance: Study

David Lees | Digital Vision | Getty Images

College-educated Millennials have a slightly different set of expectations about the workplace, and employers need to make changes or risk losing the best new workers, according to a new study conducted by PwC, the University of Southern California and the London Business School.

Primary among their concerns is a better work-life balance.

Among Millennials, 71 percent said work demands interfere with their personal lives. By contrast, 63 percent of their older colleagues made that complaint.

"Every generation would like a better work-life balance, and I think the Millennials are helping us see that, and maybe pulling us along," said Terri McClements, PwC's U.S. Human Capital Leader.

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PwC initiated the study after it noticed an increasing number of its new hires were jumping ship after a short time. Since two-thirds of its workforce was born in the Millennial bracket, (1980 to 1995 for this study), the professional services firm realized it might have a problem.

Chief among the complaints was the long-accepted practice of working like a dog right out of college in the hopes that one day it would lead to making partner at the firm. Millennials aren't convinced such a sacrifice would be worth the potential payoff later, the survey found.

That does not mean they are a new slacker generation.

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"That perception is not correct," McClements said. "They are equally committed."

What the Millennials want at work is to be judged on their impact, have fun, have a flexible schedule and get rewards for a job well done. They want an emotional connection to their work and to be part of a team focused on a goal. And while they are a wired generation, they want face-to-face contact when it comes to personal topics.

"Their experience is different," McClements said.

The survey, "PwC's NextGen: A Global Generational Study," included responses from 44,000 PwC employees globally, with nearly a quarter of responses coming from Millennials.

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