Millennials shape digital workspaces
Millennials, one of the largest demographics that occupies a place of pride in the multi-generational workforce of our companies, were the original “digital natives”. They grew up surrounded by the booming tech era – broadband internet, smartphones, and of course, social media. Next in line, came the Generation Z, born into a digital world, witness to and drivers of an era where physical and digital dimensions of life, becoming increasingly fluid.
Both generations look beyond the constraints of space and mind, truly believing that anything, anywhere is possible. Together, these generations are revolutionizing the concept of work. Their ideal digital workspaces feed their need for workplace technology, empowers them with the mobility and freedom they cherish in their personal lives, as well as delivers simplicity of consumer technology.
Why enterprises must follow suit
Very often, corporations and enterprises, especially when they have grown in size and business impact, are too busy ‘running the business’ to take the time to dream and innovate. While avoiding risks and being practical might have been the way to ensure a robust bottom-line in the past, today’s dynamic digital landscape demands greater agility of thought.
Millennials and Gen Z are the generation of dreamers; they aspire to higher ideals; believe anything is possible; believe in crafting their own destiny; are driven by a greater purpose than money and innovate naturally when left to their own devices.
Enterprises could use some of that ‘dreamy’ quality to infuse fresh ideas and disrupt legacy models of operations. For that, organizations must also be ready to provide this digital generation with all the technology tools, intelligence, trust and mobility to harness their true potential.
Driven by a preference for innovative and empowering facilities
So, what separates these generations from the previous lot of workforces? Do they really represent a departure for the past? Well, yes and no. Both, Millennials and Gen Z, are ambitious workforces that typically prefer decentralized workspaces and don’t respond overly to cubicle culture.
This is an aspirational workforce that needs a seamlessly digitized workspace to feel their organization is providing them with the best possible resources to succeed. Accustomed to the user friendly and intuitive interfaces they encounter on their smartphones, they expect no less from their enterprise software and networks.
According to the ‘Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision’ study, published by ManpowerGroup Research, a third of the global workforce will be millennials, by 2020. In the same report, millennials rate their career motivations, priorities in choosing a preferred employer, as: money (92%), security (87%), holidays/time off (86%), great people to work with (80%), and flexible working conditions (79%).
Digital workspaces for a digital generation
Digital generation does not mean that they don’t understand the value of integrating the human touch. In fact, they seem to know how to do this intuitively. And there are some key technologies that we need to fit into the scheme of things.
For instance, agile technologies are a must for Gen Z, but the two most positive influencing factors they identify are ‘supportive leadership’ and ‘positive relationships at work’. An overwhelming 72% of Gen Z want the flexibility to communicate face-to-face, in addition to mobility. In fact, 56% of Millennials and Gen Z believe their colleagues are the resource they rely on to do their best work.
Millennial respondents to The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019 also mentioned that automation improves productivity and about half of them consider it an important tool in aiding creativity and value-addition.
Workplaces that enable effective on-the-go and flexible channels of communication are not only doing themselves a favour – through a culture of innovation and creativity – but are also likely to attract the best of a new generation of employees. Well integrated, multi-channel and user-friendly digital tools are an essential enabler, for Millennials and Gen Z.
Traditionally organizations expect employees to assume the culture and values of an organization. We continue to believe this is a valuable approach. However, the value an organization can gain from reshaping itself to the preferences of employees is no less valuable an approach to take on.
The Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning American author, Pearl S. Buck once said, “The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation”.
The cliché about youth being brash, impatient and reaching for the impossible probably owes some of its most iconic past imagery to the baby boomers of the 60s. It’s no contest really, because we have seen several impressive young innovators presenting imaginative solutions and ambitious plans across the world.
From our point of view, as far as making their mark in the world, Millennials and Gen Z are clearly reshaping and redefining. One of the most apparent ways this is happening, is through the reimagining of how digital tools are incorporated into workspaces and organizations.