Millennials currently make up around half the workforce, and by 2025 that figure will rise to approximately 75%.
Given their sheer dominance, it’s no wonder employers are eager to understand what motivates Millennials. It’s the key to attracting and retaining the best talent of those born between 1980 and 2000 who are now taking over the workforce.
So what do Millennials want from the workplace? And how can employers give it to them?
One thing’s for sure, it takes more than salary packages and perks to win over this influential demographic. Here’s what we know so far:
Work and lifestyle balance:
According to The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, this age group still want to earn high salaries and be wealthy like their predecessors. But their priorities have shifted, and workplace culture and experiences are more valuable to them.
Deloitte found that travel and seeing the world was at the top of 57% of millennials’ list of aspirations, while 46% were more attracted to making a positive impact in their communities or society than in having children and starting families (39%).
The report states: “Generally, millennials think their ambitions are achievable. But for many, their dreams have been delayed by financial or other constraints.”
Work flexibility and freedom:
This desire to travel and move away from rigid 9-5 workplace structures shows that Millennials value workplace freedom and flexibility much more than previous generations.
An earlier study from Deloitte (2016) found that nearly 75% of Millennials place importance on a “work from home” or “work remotely” policy. Therefore it’s important for employers to provide an environment where people feel valued and trusted, and to provide the flexibility and freedom to allow them to do their best work — whenever, and wherever — that may be.
Opportunity for remote work:
Contrary to some opinions, Millennials are hard workers. They may shun the traditional desk-bound office environments of their predecessors, but being ‘out of office’ does not make them lazy. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Remote work is now the standard operating mode for at least 50% of the U.S. population, and various research studies suggest that, when planned and managed correctly, remote work can significantly improve productivity and retention. As the trend continues, 2019 is expected to further reinforce the current global shift towards a more “remote-friendly” working culture.
Workplace flexibility and remote work practices fit perfectly with a virtual office. As more companies and their workforces choose to work remotely, therefore reducing the amount of physical office space required, demand for virtual offices is expected to increase further.
A virtual office provides all the regular services you will find in an office environment, minus the actual office. Physical workplace components such as workstations, meeting rooms, and printing facilities are available to use on-demand. Therefore workers are free to carry out the majority of their duties remotely, wherever they feel most productive, while benefiting from the centralized support system of a virtual office.
Tools and tech:
Widely known as ‘digital natives’, Millennials grew up with the Internet and saw massive improvements in mobile and wireless technology along the way. In many cases, the tech that Millennials have at home far exceeds the quality or performance of the tools they use in the office, which is a significant obstacle to productivity and again, demonstrates that Millennials get more done outside of the office, in their own time and place.
While Millennials typically embrace technology as a means to do their work faster and more efficiently, working remotely can and does throw up connectivity issues. Therefore it’s important for employers to invest in the right technology for their workforce (this is not necessarily the most hyped new product on the market, but the piece of equipment that best suits your company culture and your team’s requirements) and the appropriate training.
Indeed, upskilling and ‘learnability’ is becoming one of the most important components of the future of work, and an important piece of the workplace puzzle not just for Millennials, but also for the ongoing growth, and succession, of the companies that employ them.
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