As a Millennial, I had my first AOL Instant Messenger chat at 11, created my first blog at 15, and downloaded thousands of free songs from Napster (which wasted thousands of hours with my 56K connection) in high school. My young adult life was filled with navigating the Internet for information I wanted, whether that involved making plans with friends or getting band recommendations from a music Website. It was singular as well as collaborative, but it all involved the Web and technology.
My mouse-click away mentality shaped my perspective on how to get things done in the workplace and how to communicate with others.
I believe this is the case for most Millennials (those born between 1977 and1996). We’ve taken our technology upbringing into the workplace as we balance cubicle life and social interactions. Most of us work with our Facebook accounts open, Google Chats visible, Pandora stations playing, and Outlook emails flowing. It’s a multi-tasking, multi-browsing business world, and this is how we roll.
A study by Mr Youth and Intrepid, “What your company will look like when Millennials call the shots,” highlights the distinctive work style and digital dynamic that my generation brings to the future of business. Key aspects include:
- Saying goodbye to the boardroom – Millennials choose a roundtable environment versus an authoritative approach. Over half of Millennials surveyed said that decisions should be made by consensus. Open meetings can be held through an online meeting platform or in-person, as both allow for flowing communication and the ability to share documents and information freely and in real time.
- Technology has feelings too – The integration of technology and human interaction has changed the way Millennials communicate. Think about it: as a Millennial, what was the last interaction you had with your best friend? Was it a text, an email, a Facebook message? And for those older than the Millennials, what was the last form of communication you received from a Millennial?
- Conversations are not one-way – No one likes to be talked down to, and for Millennials this means no one likes to be talked at. Since the inception of instant messenger, blogs, and other social networking sites, the style of communication and selling has changed. Marketing a product is no longer done by holding up a sign; it involves a social strategy that will initiate and influence a conversation to engage a response. Millennials understand this innately.
- Move or be smushed – In the world of technology and business, nothing stays the same. Workers are more mobile than ever, with 75% of the U.S. workforce projected to be working outside of the office by 2013 (IDC). With this forward momentum, companies need to move – movement in the type of technology they employ and movement in the way they think about business strategy and processes. Technology like GoToMyPC allows access anywhere, which fosters agility and forward-thinking.
Work and technology evolve just like the latest shoe fashion. The penny loafers of the past will soon be the Converses of the future. It’s not about the style, it’s about the utility and ability to keep moving forward
What do you think?
Photo Credit: Vancouver Film School