Are Workplaces Evolving to Fit Millennials?

John Krautzel
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The future of work continues to change thanks to people in their 20s, who are more adept at using digital technology. The millennial generation connects to the office through computers at home thanks to cloud-based programs, tablet computers and smartphones that provide instant access to data. Although technology is one aspect of how the office is changing, that's not the only facet that caters to young adults.

A recent survey by ADP touts five main themes and trends outlining the future of work. The report comes from the wants and needs of the millennial generation as younger workers move into key positions in firms around the world. The opinions and attitudes of millennials alter the way companies handle the global economy now that everything is connected in ways that were not possible a generation ago.

Employees often want greater flexibility regarding the time they spend at work and the location of the work. That means companies with flexible scheduling and telecommuting stand to gain the most in the future of work. Millennials may seek a greater work-life balance. Instead of more money, younger people want to work for companies that foster their passions.

Rapid changes in technology lead to more innovation. Millennials and the companies for which they work must keep pace with these changes to remain competitive. The global marketplace also decreases job security, as collaboration can happen anywhere thanks to telecommunication. The future of work includes more and more repetitive tasks that become automated thanks to greater access to technology from large corporations down the small businesses.

The constant need for feedback and ongoing mentorship drives a lot of millennials into leadership positions. As many as 83 percent of firms surveyed in late 2015 report that millennials manage people older than them. Unfortunately, 45 percent of the older generations feel as if the millennial managers do not have enough experience to lead. This is where coaching and mentorship help from the first day on the job.

Indeed, the job recruitment website, set up Indeed University as a way to give new employees the mentorship and feedback they need to succeed. A new worker selects a project and then convinces to experienced people to join him over the course of 12 weeks. The new hire gets to learn software coding primarily, but also as a designer, a marketer and a designer.

Indeed University combines a structured learning environment, such as a school, with self-directed learning. The two mentors who help sponsor the project may nudge the new employee in the right direction, but the younger employee generally gets to make his own decisions. Much like technology that allows collaboration over long distances, the future of work includes a collaborative environment among the generations so companies can compete 10 and 20 years from now.

Companies such as Indeed do realize that they need to cater to millennials to succeed. That means the future of work may see some rapid changes as older generations retire and younger people take their places.

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