Young employees aged between 19 and 30 are hugely attracted to freelancing and flexible working, a new survey from management consulting firm Millennial Branding and global jobs marketplace oDesk reveals.

The survey – Millennials and the Future of Work – polled 2,000 Generation Y employees around the world and found that they are likely to drive employers toward much greater flexible working policies. 84% said they wished to quit their existing jobs in favour of independent, flexible alternatives.

Traditional nine-to-five jobs are quite the turn-off for this generation, the poll reveals: 87% said they wanted the freedom to work whenever they chose to, and 92% said they wanted the freedom to work wherever they chose to. A majority (69%) said that flexible working attracted them because they wished to work on more interesting projects. 71% wanted to quit their regular jobs to become wholly independent and 61% intend to do so within the next two years.

Interestingly, while they consider themselves to be entrepreneurial, they do not associate this with running their own companies: 90% defined entrepreneurship as a mindset rather than starting a company.

Commenting on the report, oDesk CEO Gary Swart said: “We believe the barriers of industrial-age work simply do not make sense for businesses that want to get more work done or for workers who are demanding more freedom. No one today wants to be confined to a cubicle.”

One implication of this entrepreneurial mindset not directly mentioned in the report is that the ranks of Umbrella Companies could soon be about to swell.

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