Up to 42 per cent of staff think having a life is more important than having a job, and 61 per cent vet prospective employers' ethical position before applying.
Tomorrow's employees will be less loyal but more demanding, according to new research.
The findings of a survey by Hudson HR consultancy reveal the rise of a new 'Me Generation' of employees who are putting themselves and their own quality of life first and their employer second.
More than 2,500 UK staff were surveyed and nearly half (42 per cent) claimed to be loyal to themselves ahead of their employers.
While employers value experience and seniority, three out of four employees would rather be respected and rewarded on the basis of their talent.
Employees are also becoming increasingly conscious of the ethical and moral values of prospective employers.
The survey reveals corporate reputation to be a decisive factor when choosing an employer – 50 per cent take notice of a company's corporate values when selecting their next position and nearly two thirds (61 per cent) believe it is important for a company to have strong ethical values and cultivate a diverse work force.
John Rose, chief executive of Hudson UK, said: "Employees across all professions want a better quality of life, greater flexibility and a more democratic working culture.
"Employers will need to look at their own practices sooner, rather than later, if they are to win the battle to retain their best employees and attract the brightest talent," he said.