LOS ANGELES – The Millennial Generation is taking a massive career shift. These young workers are scrapping the oft-fruitless process of applying for jobs and waiting for interview calls and instead pursuing their own entrepreneurial aspirations. Many of them are working from virtual offices.
According to a recent Gallup poll, fewer Americans aged 18 to 29 worked full time for an employer in June 2013 (43.6%) than did so in June 2012 (47.0%). That signals that more Millennials may have skipped the traditional job search and started out on their own as entrepreneurs. Fifty-four percent of Millennials have started their own business or have the desire to start one, as found in a recent report by the Kauffman Foundation.
“Millennials have grown up immersed in technologies that let them connect and collaborate anywhere, on a host of devices they always have with them,” says Mike Pugh, vice president of marketing for j2 Global. “So it makes perfect sense that they see their professional lives unfolding outside the confines of office or cubicle walls. Today’s cloud-based technologies are giving this generation more freedom to innovate and build businesses than any generation before them – and the Millennials seem to be embracing these opportunities in increasingly large numbers.”
The Most Connected Generation
Millennials – the most connected and technologically equipped generation in human history – are using virtual office technologies, tools of communication, collaboration and mobility to become entrepreneurs with little or no startup capital and few (if any) employees.
A recent j2 Global Mid Year Small Business Report shows that Millennial entrepreneurs are heavy users of mobile devices and apps to power their businesses. Indeed, 31 percent of Millennials get the most work done while commuting, and another 32 percent work during “downtime,” such as watching TV or relaxing at home. Another 36 percent of Millennials say they use more than five apps to run their business and 56 percent can see themselves being able to work entirely from an iPad or tablet in the next year. This is truly a virtual office experience.
Virtual Office Technologies You Need
But beyond mobile, there are plenty of virtual office technologies to drive Millennial ventures. There are virtual office technologies to collaborate on documents online with anyone, such as Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive. There are video chat services for virtual face-to-face meetings like Skype. Then there’s virtual phone solutions with professional greetings and advanced call routing eVoice and Phone.com and online faxing and document archiving like eFax.
The ability to launch a business leveraging mobile tools and virtual office technologies, which are often free or at least low cost, are one reason why 94 percent of Millennial entrepreneurs are very optimistic for their businesses’ growth for the rest of 2013, according to the j2 Global Mid Year Small Business Report. The report also suggests that millennial SMBs are more likely to hire staff of the same generation – 71 percent of them are expected to hire Millennials in the coming year compared to 48 percent of Gen X and 39 percent of Boomers.
And where do you think they will work? Many will work from virtual offices.
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