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The Millennial Era of Work


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This eBook will cover common characteristics associated with millennials, how they react to the evolution of technology and interact with the world around them, the ways businesses need to adjust, and what this means for the future of work.

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The Millennial Era of Work

  1. 1. 03 THE MILLENNIAL ERA OF WORK © 2014 by LogMeIn
  3. 3. 03 INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS A MILLENIAL? WHAT IS A MILLENNIAL? Technically, a millennial, sometimes known as a Generation Yer, is a product of Generation X. Researchers and commentators use varying birth years to define this demographic cohort, ranging from the late 1970’s to the early 2000’s. Jamie Gutfreund, Chief Strategy Officer for the Intelligence Group, notes a full 86 million millennials will be in the workplace by 2020. This represents 40 percent of the total working population.1 This eBook will cover common characteristics associated with millennials, how they react to the evolution of technology and interact with the world around them, the ways businesses need to adjust, and what this means for the future of work. THE MILLENNIAL ERA OF WORK / By LogMeIn
  4. 4. 04 MEET THE MILLENNIAL HIGHLY COLLABORATIVE Members of Generation Y are accustomed to working together to save money, save time, and optimize efficiencies. IN TUNE WITH TECHNOLOGY This first generation of “digital natives” has grown up in a completely digital environment. They are not only comfortable with the rapid evolution of technology; they have come to expect it. THE MILLENNIAL ERA OF WORK / By LogMeIn VALUE WORK-LIFE BALANCE Millennials want “it all”, and their high standards for work quality are equal to their expectations for quality of life. By raising the bar on work-life balance, they are redefining what work means. ALWAYS ON Millennials are hyper-connected to their devices, and accustomed to the unlimited minutes and data that support their ability to multi-task.
  5. 5. 05 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS JOB HOPPERS According to research, millennial workers typically stay in one job for an average of two years, as compared to the 4.6 years of the American worker’s overall job tenure. This observation is more highly correlated to recent economic conditions than the millennial’s generational disposition. Good long-term opportunities are hard to come by and student loans have skyrocketed, pressuring millennials to take advantage of the best opportunities that come their way. NEEDY AND ENTITLED According to the Center for Sales Strategy, “Those of us in our mid-thirties or older would agree that when we were growing up, many of our questions were answered by adults telling us, ‘Go figure it out.’ So we did. And that now feels normal to us. Kids today are told, ‘If you don’t understand, just ask!’ And when they do ask a question of their tutor, coach, teacher, or parent, they usually get a pretty thorough explanation – and sometimes even a demonstration, to boot. That’s what they expect from their managers.” 2 THE MILLENNIAL ERA OF WORK / By LogMeIn
  6. 6. 06 WHAT BUSINESSES HAVE TO LEARN ABOUT COLLABORATION Millennials want to interact with coworkers of all ages and backgrounds and collaborate on important matters. Not only do they expect to engage with colleagues at more intimate levels in order to learn, but working as a team is actually preferred. Most millennials feel comfortable interacting with older workers, even those viewed as authority figures.3 In fact, 41% of millennials agreed that employees should do what their managers tell them. Compare that to only 30% of both Baby Boomers and Generation X participants agreed. 4 ABOUT WORK-LIFE BALANCE Millennials have a great enthusiasm for life and a different approach to work-life balance. It shows in their demands for remote work options and time flexibility. They blur the lines between their professional and personal lives, and prioritize building communities and encouraging friendships. Workplaces that take advantage of this new trend toward balance will find that millennials can work just as hard as other workers. THE MILLENNIAL ERA OF WORK / By LogMeIn ABOUT TECHNOLOGY Millennials want work to mirror their personal lives and expect to have access to the same technology experience in and out of the office. Companies should make it a priority to offer the best technology tools for collaboration, productivity, and flexibility. An organization’s restrictions on popular social media sites and preferred tools can have negative implications on a millennial’s desire to join or stay with a company, in addition to their inclination to express opinions that could impact an employer’s reputation. This generation’s level of interconnection and activity is part of their work and productivity. Playing nice is key to winning this game. ABOUT RETENTION Millennials are actually much more likely than older workers to value the idea of long-term careers, reports a recent study by and GfK5 Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of millennials aged 18 to 30 say it’s possible to have a lasting career in today’s workforce, compared to less than half (48 percent) of baby boomers. Embracing their desire to explore new roles and continue to advance is key to holding onto these young workers.
  7. 7. 07 WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK THE MILLENNIAL ERA OF WORK / By LogMeIn W hen we look at the research as a whole, we learn that millennials are more committed and more social. They interact and rely on the new social tools to collaborate and keep in touch with their colleagues, friends, and families. The new face of work is trending toward healthy, fun, and energetic workplaces where treadmill desks and open floor plans are the new norm. Top employers are seeking ways to inspire worker creativity, focus, and well-being by offering employees the option to work remotely or tap into a more energetic workspace. At the same time, work is still, well, work. Workplaces are changing and adapting to a new economy driven by a more flexible and balanced approach to work and life. Larger organizations will have the advantage in retaining millennial employees long-term with programs to encourage and support frequent lateral transfers, job rotations, and cross-functional training opportunities, as well as work that can be done using technology instead of sitting behind a desk from 9 to 5. However, any business can use technology that is appealing to millennials without reworking their entire internal structure.
  8. 8. 08 TECHNOLOGY AND WORK MERGE TO CREATE REMOTE TRENDS IN COLLABORATION THE MILLENNIAL ERA OF WORK / By LogMeIn W hen we look at how technology in general has affected society, we discover work doesn’t happen only in the office, and that is driven in part by the mobile tools available to all workers. Mobile is not only about smartphones and tablets, however; it also involves web-based apps that enable working from multiple devices and locations. In-person meetings are not going to vanish, but the conference table is no longer needed. Workers can open a laptop, tablet, or smartphone in a coffee shop or hotel lobby, fire up an instant meeting service to connect and get work done in a more comfortable setting than the office American Express found companies that have office space – frequently report only 50% of that space is used – when accounting for sick time, vacation and travel of its employees.6 So even having an office doesn’t mean people will be in an office, just as working from home on a regular basis does not preclude face-to-face meetings. 7 Today’s society is unapologetically mobile, and maintaining this mobility at work is attractive to millennials. Since workers are based around the world, they must operate in a variety of conditions, including the speed of their Internet connection. For this reason, today’s best applications work directly via the web and do not require large downloads or executable files (.exe) that run on your local machine. These “lightweight tools” include: instant meetings, digital whiteboards, communication platforms (IM, text messaging, video conferencing). To be sure, this type of worker requires tools capable of firing up at the speed of a phone call and that encourages or sparks human interaction, not causing your meeting participants to switch over to their email inbox. If a millennial or mobile worker cannot have a face-to-face meeting, then that person will quickly find an alternative way to get the job done.
  9. 9. 09 TECHNOLOGY AND WORK MERGE TO CREATE REMOTE TRENDS IN COLLABORATION O nline whiteboards are increasingly used to capture the real-time collaboration possible in web meetings. As workers simultaneously draw or sketch out ideas, the web tools capture the content, in whatever form and store it on a shared drive. Overall, mobile and social tools enhance collaboration and that is not limited to the millennial worker, but available to any generation willing to embrace the tidal change in tech. Meetings and productive work can happen anyplace, anytime, THE MILLENNIAL ERA OF WORK / By LogMeIn as long as employees are equipped with the right tools. More so, the biggest changes involve how we choose to interact and collaborate, bridging the online world with real life. All of the above is changing how we work together. Where distance used to impact our ability to meet with the right person at the right time – the web has solved that. It is now time to embrace the new collaborative nature of work brought on by the digital native mindset.
  10. 10. 10 FOOTNOTES 1 Rob Asghar, What Millennials Want In The Workplace (And Why You Should Start Giving It To Them) (Forbes) should-start-giving-it-to-them/. 2 Beth Sunshine, Help! How Do I Coach a Millennial With Sales Talent? (The Center for Sales Strategy). 3 The new face of the American workforce (Minnesota Life) 4 Jennifer J. Deal, Five Millennial Myths (strategy+business) 5 Mini-Me No More: Millennials Replace Boomers as “Me” Generation in the Workplace (Monster) http:/ 6 Silverman, Rachel Emma and Sidel, Robin. Warming Up to the Officeless Office (The Wall Street Journal) 7 Daniel W. Rasmus, Telecommuting Works If You Intentionally Design It (Fast Company) THE MILLENNIAL ERA OF WORK / By LogMeIn