What Millennials Want in a Workplace

S “Many newly built offices and startups also have ping pong tables and beer at the office so create a collaborative environment for millennials.” Pictured: Steve Vinter (head of Google Boston) and Deval Patrick (Governor of Massachusetts) compete in a game of ping pong at the Google office. – Photo courtesy of Sage Chimera (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

By Robyn Dutton

Make way for millennials because they are taking over the workplace! According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are now hold almost one-third of all full-time jobs. As the workplace demographic changes around the world, the layouts, format and operations of the companies they are working for will also adapt to fit their evolving needs. These changes are being faced by moaning and groaning from older generations who may not see the need for change. This has already impacted huge numbers of offices around the world and I can attest, as I am currently experiencing it myself.

Millennials for one, like flexibility. Love it or hate it, they lack patience, structure and routine. I think I’ve had the same number of jobs as my parents, and I’m younger by… well, you do the math. Most move jobs more frequently than not, so companies need to create flexible, creative and fun spaces to keep their employees. Flexibility can be presented in many ways, one being the opportunity to work remotely or work untraditional hours throughout the day. I firmly believe that if you don’t trust your employees to be mature enough to work from home, then they shouldn’t be your employees in the first place. There is a place and time for “facetime” in the office, but balance is key in this situation. Secondly, flexibility is key when it comes to vacation time. Per the Pew Research Center, almost 90 percent of millennials have a smartphone, so they are accessing emails and are ‘plugged in’ to work even when they’re not working. If we aren’t tracking hours spent outside of the office, why track the hours we spend in the office? Majorly successful (and smart) corporations are leading the charge on this trend, including: Netflix, GrubHub, LinkedIn, Virgin and many others.

On top of the office structure transitioning, employees also value increased community and social ties with their coworkers. Bagel Thursday, Wing Wednesday, Taco Tuesday and happy hours are popping up everywhere we look. Many newly built offices and startups also have ping pong tables and beer at the office so create a collaborative environment. The barrier between many higher-level executives and managers are also fading away, with entry-level and junior employees encouraging less scheduled meetings and less privacy, opting for more of a drop-in and informal meet and greets. Many co-working spaces are currently popping up as well, such as Neuehouse, which feeds to the self-employed millennials who are going their own route. The highest paid ‘Instagram famous’ millennials are making millions per year. If that’s not changing the game, I don’t know what is. Above all, millennials still want the same outcome as all other generations – financial stability, enjoyment from work and to make a difference in the world. And we really can’t complain about that.

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