New Generation of Workers Value Corporate Social Responsibility

November 16, 2007 ( - A new global study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reports the expectations of "millennial" professionals and the resulting implications for the future of people management.

PwC surveyed 2,793 graduates from China, the U.K., and U.S. – all of whom had been offered jobs with the member firms of the worldwide organization but had yet to start – and found corporate social responsibility behavior is a factor in prospective employee job seeking, according to a press release. Ninety percent of U.S. respondents, 87% of Chinese respondents, and 71% of U.K. respondents said they will actively seek out employers whose corporate social responsibility behavior reflects their own.

In addition, PwC said, the survey revealed office hours and locations of the future may not change; some 75% of respondents overall expect to work regular office hours, and only 5% on average expect to work mainly from home. Karen Vander Linde, a partner in the Advisory practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said in the release that more than 79% of U.S. respondents said they expected to work both in the office and from home.

Other findings of the study included:

  • “Portfolio careers” (working at multiple and varied jobs) may not be the wave of the future, as 78.4% of respondents overall said they believe they will have between two to five employers over the course of their career. Only 5.5% of respondents said they expect to have more than ten employers.
  • Over 90% of those surveyed said they expect to work across geographic borders more often than their parents did.
  • Almost one-third of U.S. respondents (32%) indicated they expect to use a language other than their own in the workplace.

PwC also used scenario planning methodology in the study to project three possible future scenarios for work. In one, business is king and big companies reign supreme; in another, social responsibility is paramount and consumers and employees drive corporate accountability and responsibility; and in the third, localism prevails, and a global network of linked, but separate, small businesses prosper while large companies fail.

“Our use of ‘scenario planning’ in this study provides a compelling vision of possible future business worlds and can help organizational leaders begin the discussion of how to survive the talent crunch and thrive in years to come,” said Vander Linde, in the release. “Companies can use these scenarios to begin developing a strategy for their future, whether they focus on one model or a blend of models.”

The full report, Managing Tomorrow’s People: The Future of Work to 2020, can be accessed here .