The advances in the technology of every generation have disrupted the status quo in the workplace. In the 1950s, a generation shaped by World War II who was trained to accept top-down leadership and had their workplace ruled by a 9-to-5 day, experienced change through a mainframe computer the size of a room. Baby Boomers, taught to question authority, came up with different rules for leadership and experienced workplace disruption from the electronic calculator, and later the personal computer. For GenX, it was the Internet, email, online services and video conferencing. But no generation has grown up on technology like the Millennials, and these digital natives are disrupting the way we work in many ways.
The Millennial world is a digital world. Making up approximately one-third of today’s workforce, there is no doubt that Millennials are having an effect on workplace technology. Organizations need to engage with this growing group to successfully navigate the digital transformation. But while transforming the way we do business in an increasingly digital age, we cannot lose sight of how these changes affect our critical processes, privacy and security.
How millennials are impacting technology in the workplace:
- Mobility: Millennials are a mobile generation – they work at all times of the day and from anywhere. Mobility is so important to them that “one in three Millennials said would prioritize device flexibility, social media freedom and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer.” (Source: Kenan-Flagler Business School.) Gartner sees this disruption and estimates that “70% of enterprises see providing more mobile support to employees over the next 12 months as a high or critical priority.”
- Cloud: According to IDC, Millennial-led mid-market firms are more likely to embrace a cloud-first strategy and are adopting Software as a Service (SaaS) applications at a 20% higher rate as compared to other companies.
- Wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT): Millennials are embracing the coming tide of connected everything from wearables to smart machines that are disrupting traditional business processes like support and supply chain management. These connected devices are exponentially increasing the amount of data collected every day.
- Collaboration: Millennials are in constant communication and need immediate feedback. They use text, snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and more to hold whole conversations within social apps and reshape how organizations analyze and distribute information. If this group does not feel that tools meet their needs, they will seek out and use alternative tools that can create chaos for the security of your data and infrastructure. Forward thinking companies will consult with this group to learn to communicate and collaborate using apps like Cisco Spark to increase overall productivity.
- More to come: Millennial-friendly workplace technologies such as cloud, mobile, big data and social media are the new ways of communicating and collaborating, and they will be at the forefront of adoption. Millennials will actively seek technology solutions that save costs, improve processes and increase productivity. The downside is that there may be too much adoption and not enough vetting. The effect these new solutions will have on the workplace needs to be analyzed to prevent too much fragmentation, which could ultimately end up decreasing productivity.
At OneNeck, we embrace the change brought about by the Millennial workforce and can provide the guidance you need to effectively adopt and integrate digital-driven change in your organization that propels your business forward. Don’t let workplace technology overwhelm you – embrace it – and your Millennial workforce will thank you!