As the baby boomer powered workforce continues to dwindle and fade, employers are looking for ways to attract young, millennial talent. Part of that will come in the form of reshaping the physical workspace so that it reflects some of the things that the younger generation values – things like a high level of connectivity, an environment that promotes a reasonable work/life balance, and the ability to telecommute when appropriate.
There are a number of stereotypes that tend to hinder the approach of understanding the millennial generation, specifically the idea that they are entitled, lazy, and self-absorbed (contrary to conventional wisdom, these characteristics can be found to reside within baby boomers as well – shocking, isn’t it?). Be that as it may, companies that will one day rely exclusively on a millennial workforce are sparing no expense to re-invent their corporate culture to one that’s more appealing to millennials.
The question is, are these changes really necessary?
While the generalizations mentioned above may paint the picture that millennials are indeed as different to baby boomers as night is to day in terms of their values, there’s really no hard evidence to corroborate that fact. In truth, quite the opposite appears to be true; there seems to be a growing amount of evidence that suggests that employees, regardless of age, are much more alike than they are different when it comes to how they feel about work. In fact, both generations have nearly identical views when it comes to things like:
- Making a positive impact within their organization
- Wanting to work with a diverse group of people
- Doing work that they’re passionate about
- Working for an industry leader
- Achieving financial security
Further, the argument can be made that the differences that do exist between baby boomers and millennials have always existed in a workforce where differing age groups collide; differences that are attributable by and large to the different life stages a worker currently finds themselves in.
Though it’s evident that millennials may in fact have more in common with boomers than perhaps previously thought, this shouldn’t be considered as an admission that the contemporary workplace should remain unchanged. Regardless of the reasons, millennials are in fact influencing the workplace in more ways than one.
Workspaces that Promote Health as Much as Productivity
Largely started by the dot-coms, open concept offices promise to foster a sense of collaboration and knowledge transfer among peers, but it also has provided the opportunity for the workplace to become a much healthier environment. Office furniture manufacturer’s have been the unassuming benefactors of the growing millennial workforce, as they’ve risen to the challenge of catering to a growing demand for office furniture that if functional yet ergonomically built.
A workplace should be friendlier & should see a shift in corporate ideologies from “they work for us” to “they work with us”.
Expect the 9-5 Workday to Become Less Relevant
Pursuant to the need to a better work/life balance, millennials are flocking to employers that have adopted a more progressive view of the term “working hours”. In fact, nearly 70% of millennials surveyed said that they would like to re-adjust their working hours to better fit their lifestyle.
Start Thinking of Ways to Make the World a Better Place
As a company, it’s no longer enough to simply offer a product or service at a reasonable price. Millennials prefer working for an organization that’s committed to changing the world for the better; companies that aren’t afraid to use their resources and influence to encourage actions that will benefit the next generation.