• Big 4

    According to Obvious PwC Survey, Millennials Want To Barely Work From Home, If At All

    By | April 17, 2013

    If I have to read ONE more of these, I am going to scream. Here's the latest from PwC:

    A new report released today, PwC's NextGen: A global generational study, reveals 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. PwC's NextGen is one of the largest, most comprehensive studies into the attitudes and behaviors of the Millennial generation.

    "The Millennial generation is pushing organizations to the work world many of them want," said Terri McClements, Vice Chair and US Human Capital Leader at PwC. "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. We have always paid close attention to the needs of our people, but this study gives us better insight to deliver on our strategy of engaging them."

    Give me a fucking break.

    Among the major findings of PwC's NextGen study:

    — 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 where they can stay connected by way of technology. 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. A balance between their personal and work lives is what is most important to them.

    We already know Millennials want flex time to get their tires rotated, tell us something we don't know.

    So if I'm reading this right, most Millennials want to work from home and work fewer hours than the generation before them? Suck it up, kids, you guys are in for a long haul before you have the luxury of blowing off work for the golf course.

    "The compelling nature of this research supports PwC's mission to create value for our stakeholders, including one of the most critical — our people. By understanding their motivations and preferences, we can continue to enhance our communications, culture and their experience working at PwC, which better enables them to deliver quality service to the stakeholders we serve," said Bob Moritz, PwC's US Chairman and Senior Partner.

    OK, good luck with that, BoMo! Try convincing some 24 year old "working" in his underwear at home how important clients are while he's halfway through the Walking Dead episodes he DVRd.

    • $43517978

      If we all be really quiet, we can almost hear the world passing Adrienne by.

      I agree this survey isn’t revolutionary, but from what I read it doesn’t sound like Millennials don’t want to work (as Adrienne seems to be suggesting, or outright saying). It sounds like they want to work smarter and with more flexibility. It also seems to me that Millennials are trying to put their lives and careers into more perspective than the generations before them did. Rather than spending all their hours doing meaningless work for The Man, they want to do more meaningful work and also have a personal life. Of course, when these kids enter the reality of the real world many of them will receive an attitude adjustment. But I applaud the kids these days for seeing the bullshit in our modern economy and pushing to change some things.

      “Why do you have to physically come into the office to do the same work you could do from home? Because that’s the way we’ve always done it. Now go get me a coffee, kid.”

      • Hugh Jorgan

        Says the middle-aged dude who gets paid by his employer to hang out on Going Concern all day! You nailed it, bro!

        • $43517978

          Hey, its B4V Troll. Welcome back, my friend.

          • Robert Palmer

            He got you pretty good there.

            • $43517978

              Yes, he did. It shook me up pretty bad. Usually I only do about 4 hours of real work each day to earn my six figure salary. But after B4V Troll slammed me yesterday, I could only focus enough to do 2 hours of work for my six figure salary.

            • Robert Palmer

              Side note: congrats on passing 1,000 votes since you registered on disquis.

            • Troll of B4V, I Guess

              i am sorry to report to you my salary is actually seven figures, so i have much time to post…

            • Big4Douche

              Big4Douche isn’t impressing anybody. Given the number of comments he posts on a regular basis, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was unemployed, counting his food stamps.

      • Once again, I think you’ve completely missed the point.

        We don’t need this survey to tell us what the younger workforce is thinking.

        • $43517978

          Yet somehow you missed the points that were made by the survey.

          Since when is a survey not a good way to find out what people think? Are there a lot of better ways to find out what Millennials are thinking?

          Speaking as someone who was a Big 4 manager a few years ago and seeing the impact of kids coming into the firm with new attitudes, I think this is a pretty big issue for businesses. And it seems to me that there’s a better way to deal with it than just breaking these kids’ spirit and making them conform. Maybe companies can gain a competitive advantage if they can adapt to change.

          • Good zinger, you should tweet that.

            • $43517978

              Thanks. Will do.

          • Hehe

            I agree. I am considered a “millennial” and am fortune enough to have a job that integrates work and play. We have flexibility in clothing (can pretty much wear anything), work hours and benefits. PS. I’m out of public accounting and dont even work in accounting anymore. Still read this site to realize how much better my life is now :p

          • B4TAX

            Survey’s are the absolute worst way to find out what people think. The unspoken rule of the Big4 when I started was that as long as you were willing to drag your ass in every day and try, and as long as you didn’t run to many strip clubs through the old expese report, you had a job. period. Once greedy baby boomers took over the leadership ranks, everyone became expendible…anything to drive more margin so senior partners could play with the big boys (public c-suite exces, investment banks and other people that have way more going for them than the typical nebbish accounting firm partner). In the span of 10+/- years accounting has gone from a place where the almost best new they could come and stay for life or until they got a sweet industry job, so a place where the almost worst come because they have no choice, and the almost best come knowing almost for sure they will leave the second another firm offers them a measly 10% jump bonus. You try to tell them “its a career, and it’s about the PEOPLE” and they know its 100% bullshit.
            Not that I am complaining, I actually do love my job.

      • Big4Staffffff

        Agreed on all accounts. I’m a Millennial working in a Big 4 firm.

        Here’s what I like about public accounting: working with people my age to accomplish a goal, critical thinking (yes you can critically think in Big 4), client interaction, travel opportunities, and plenty of powerful tools at my disposal.

        Here’s what I hate: lip service about work-life balance, hours of weekly administrative tasks on top of my normal workload, empty promises (it won’t be bad this year….), and most of all, the thought that if you work long hours you are a hard worker.

        Honestly, I can deal with everything else, but the whole “lets work long hours because that means we’re getting something done” bit drives me up a wall. Disclaimer, no I’m not saying I want 8 hour days year-round because we all know thats impossible. But how motivated are you to get your stuff done when you know you’re gonna be in the office till 1am anyway? How much are you REALLY getting done between the hours of, lets say when that firm bought dinner settles into your stomach and 1am? How much friggin internet browsing are you doing with your privacy screen up (or when your supervisor is out of the room)? Do you even have any work to do or are you just putting in face time? But here we are, working till 1am slouched in our pleather chairs, 10 people packed like sardines into a 5 person conference room (and the sardines smell better). We leave work at 1am, get home by 1:30 if we’re lucky, try and take care of some normal person stuff (shower or laundry anybody?), wake up at 7:30 the next day, and stumble into the office tired as hell and do it all over again. Call me whatever you want, but I can’t put in my best work doing that, which means I’m inefficient.

        So here’s the point: can we not meet deadlines by working smarter, and not longer? If the firms really don’t bill by the hour anyway (its the truth), then whats the point of all the hours? I’m considerably more motivated to plow through my areas when I know I’m leaving at a time that allows me to enjoy some time out of work and get a decent night’s sleep. I also come in the next day ready to pick up where I left off the night before, and in a much better mood. I’ll put in my few years, but I’ve come to the realization that this is not worth wasting the rest of my life on, no matter the upside potential.

        Flamesuit on, hit me with your best shot (see, I can relate to non-millennials)

        • Guest

          You aren’t in D&T Atlanta are you?

        • Former_Big4Staffer

          You hit the nail on the head with this one. Face time is the #1 reason I quit (besides the work not adding any value). Honestly, if people knew how to effectively use the tools available (i.e., excel), 50% of the (actual) hours worked would be cut and people could literally work 8 hours a day, max. When the Sr. Manager spends 3 hours reviewing a spreadsheet, it’s because they spend 30 seconds scrolling down thousands of rows with the mouse. Multiply 30 seconds by a few hundred repetitions and you start to see why 10pm is considered “an early night”.

          The whole ordering & eating dinner thing is a huge time-waster. 30 minutes to decide what to eat, then another 45 “eating” (i.e., browsing the internet at 8:30pm), then grab a coffee and start working again… around 9. And of course, it’s expected that you work until AT LEAST 11pm if the firm is buying dinners.

          Oh, and don’t even get me started on the “need” to work on Saturdays and Sundays. So glad I quit… 30% base salary bump within 9 months, no weekends (ever, and now I actually get a bonus (apparently 80 hour weeks at Big4 do not warrant one). Best part: no face time! Efficiency is rewarded, not punished!

        • Staff Infection

          I too am a millennial staff working Big 4 Audit (I know you didn’t specify tax vs audit, but its obvious). And I all I have to say is: what you said is the dialogue that runs through my head most of the day.

          Pay close attention to this man’s words, for they are well written and insightful.
          Man, thanks for writing this!

        • Rtruth12

          Awesome rant!

    • cool story brah

      Let’s see how PwC takes the results of their own survey and helps to retain its people…my office has had a significant number of people leave this year (with a record amount of first years leaving after busy season) and there is a pretty big scramble to fill positions

      • Big4Stafffffffff

        Which means (deep breath), the remaining staff are pulling a bit more weight (cuz how much do first years get done anyway?), the remaining staff become even more unhappy which leads to more resignations in 6 months, and by August all you’re left with are a few managers and 6 campus new hires who are all bright eyed and bushy tailed but haven’t a damn clue. Now enough of that bullchit, lets talk quality!

    • David

      I get really tired of old timers telling me how much I don’t like to work. Yes here I am sitting at a useless meeting of you telling me about how kids these days don’t like to work and yet you will be going home while I stay here to write up the notes on this meeting about nothing of significance so I can get started on the work I have to get done by tomorrow, which you magically won’t have the time to review until next week. Shut the hell up you old timers and figure out how to put comments into a PDF on your own, no I won’t explain to you how a pivot table works anymore, and I don’t care if you don’t know how to get Access to make those reports you want. Get your typewriter out if you really miss the good old days.

    • SouthernCPA

      I think the younger staff wants to use the technology available to them. Surely, we are a client-facing business, and thus working from home all the time is not possible. But, if you have a day where you are simply sitting in a cube doing work, and not at a client’s office, and you want to occasionally do that from home, I don’t see what the big deal is. And the hours thing is silly… what matters is getting the work done. If someone can do it in 5 and someone can do it in 8… then do it in that and go home.
      Of course, they are feeling entitled, this is the everyone gets a trophy generation. No, I’m sorry, you are not getting an office your first year. You do have to work your way up to what you want.
      It is hard to take seriously, though, the generation currently in leadership. This is the generation that would sell their mother into prostitution for a 1 percent raise, the generation that has completely corrupted all levels of government, given us a crushing debt, etc.

      • Kramer’s Caddie

        I think it is also worth noting the significant changes that have taken place over the last few decades from when Partner’s were at the staff/senior and even manager level.

        Take someone that is 45-55 years old – the “decision makers”. What was the workplace like 20-30 years ago

        – They use to share a desktop computer at the office
        – Likely didnt have cell phones
        – Internet was shitty at best (think AOL dial up shitty)
        – Tell me what it was like to work with people in India – O wait, you guys never did, you just came up with that to scam to increase your distributions. Well played.

    • Guest

      A big thing that is being missed is a lot of the millenials don’t want to be partners some day… There goal is more to have a decent paying job (i.e. cover their bills, save money, take vacations) and enjoy life outside of work. More the ‘Work to live vs Live to work’ thought process.

      • Guest


    • PwCASSociate

      This is not limited to the “millennials” – note that MORE of the old guard would like the flexibility to occasionally work from home. Unfortunately, the lack of personal responsibility has given “working from home” a bad rep for most people – this is across all age groups.

      While I’m sick of my peers under other management “working from home” on Friday and getting nothing done, I am equally frustrated with the superiors that do the same thing. I do not see this as indicative of a general decline in the work ethic of my peers – I see it as the sad state of the American workforce.

      Do not confuse my point – my problem is not with working from home… it is with “working” from home. If you want to work from home, I don’t give a sh*t as long as you get your work done – the minute your productivity declines is the minute I start to get pissed off. Unfortunately, most people just don’t have the integrity to take a personal day and “work from home” instead.

      • $43517978

        I believe in treating my employees as professionals. Professionals get their job done on time. I don’t give a shit HOW you do it or WHERE you do it…just git ‘ur done.

        When people “work from home” and don’t get their work done on time, that is as much the manager’s fault as it is the employee’s fault. Part of being a manager is holding people accountable.

    • Marriedfilingjointly

      “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.”

      The quoted statistic suggests that Millennials and non-Millennials *gasp* really aren’t that different.

    • AdvisoryGuy

      I don’t get the snark. PwC has been working hard the last couple years to change its flexibility and comp policies. It may be true that “everyone just knows” what Millennials want, but that doesn’t mean you don’t survey, document, codify, and act. Making reactionary decisions based on what you obviously know won’t get you very far if you don’t even know why you know it. Not to mention the things that “everyone just knows” are not always right, or in this case indicative of actual needs and desires or the appropriate response without the more complete context this survey might provide.

      I do know that (in my case at least) PwC has been working to put its money where its mouth is. I left PwC Assurance a year ago, and when I gave notice, my partner asked to talk through some flexibility options, including cutting hours and pay to 80%, or moving to a seasonal flex (built-in leave for two months each summer). I understood this to be part of a pilot program for flex options going forward. Not sure if/what/where has happened since, but they were serious about experimenting with it. I didn’t want to be the guinea pig (if in limited roll-out, I think it would be pretty hard to maintain the line on 80% hours when the shit hit the fan and you are the only one on a team of 30 with that setup) and had a different opportunity, but it was an interesting proposition.

      • PwCASSociate

        When I gave notice flexibility options were brought to the table as well. The ones brought to the table could not match the offer I had received – however if they were presented proactively I probably would have declined the outside interest before the amount of pay was brought to the table.

    • Phillip Marquart

      I realize I’m late to the game here… But it amazes me how the author and too many of those commenting have lost their minds. Gen Y isn’t pushing for anything that the general workforce isn’t pushing for… Goodness.