Millennials have grown up in a world with technology at the forefront and therefore, expect the workplace to reflect not only the high tech environment they are used too, but also facilitate the ability to connect with co-workers, anywhere at any time. Millennials are masters of new technology and adapt and embrace innovations. They also understand that technology arguably has a vital role to play in fostering collaboration and communication, not only within their immediate social circles but within the workplace among their colleagues.
For example, approximately 40 percent of millennials thought that employers should encourage workers to use social media in their work, compared to 24 percent of Generation X and just 10 percent of Baby Boomers. The powerful advancements in communication and technology mean that moving the physical workplace online ‘will enable the millennial generation to combine life between work and home, as well as achieve balance in both.’
Millennials also push for flexibility within the workplace; being able to work from home and being able to work hours which best suit them. PwC’s study found that millennials don’t believe productivity should be “measured by the number of hours worked at the office” but instead “by the output of the work performed.” Interestingly, they believe that a balance between work and life will enable them to work more productively by giving them the freedom to experiment with different methods of working and ultimately, find a strategy which complements their preferences.
“It’s clear that employers need to be doing more to support their employees and promote flexible working policies within their organisation.” – Jason Downes, MD of Powwownow
It makes sense for businesses to pay attention to the new workplace trends within the millennial generation, as by 2020 millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000, will comprise of more than 50% of the UK workforce. So how can businesses incorporate technology into the workplace?
One technology that is easy to incorporate but has long-reaching benefits is video conferencing. Video conferencing is growing in popularity and more employees, as well as clients, expect businesses to have high quality technological systems in place.
Millennials see flexible working as an essential employee benefit: therefore, businesses should allow employees to work from home when necessary and employ video conferencing systems to ensure that client meetings and co-worker communication can still run smoothly. Enabling access to video conferencing will keep millennial employees happy as easy collaboration, and quick correspondence is an expectation that they demand from the workplace.
As the younger generations enter the workplace, raising the expectations for companies to provide up to date technology along with flexible working, you should start thinking about what small changes you can make right now to ensure the satisfaction of your future workforce.
Video conferencing also provides an excellent opportunity to train your new millennial staff, while also showing that you understand how important technology is for productivity and efficiency within the office. For example, Forrester Research has found that millennials usually favour peer learning within their organisation, rather than learning from traditional instructional content. With video conferencing, subject experts can share their insights instantly with anyone, in an engaging format that will help ensure that employees comprehend the required information and get to grips with their responsibilities quicker.
Millennials are more likely to enjoy working for a company when they have access to smart tools that enable them to be productive. Companies that capitalise on technologies like video conferencing may find that their employees have boosted engagement among co-workers as well as increased productivity.