Lauren Marinigh

When Will We Escape the Traditional Workplace?

By Lauren | April 19, 2015 | 0 Comment

I’m a Millennial, and despite the stigma that names seems to have amongst the generations that fell before us, I’m proud to call myself one. What I’m not proud of is the way society is “adapting” to the millennial generation. Despite what people may think, Millennials are important to society, we already form more than 25% of the workforce in the USA, and by 2025, 3 out of 4 workers will be Millennials. Now if that isn’t a reason to start to adapt your workplace for this Millennial takeover, I don’t know what else you need.

We are the next generation, and we are the ones that are going to shape the future. Yet somehow the older generations don’t see past our cellphone addictions, and constant need to stay connected 24/7. We are the first generation to grow up in the digital age, and the first generation to enter the workforce with a better grasp of a key business tool (digital and technology) then all other generations before us.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: Jobularity (P.S. click this photo to be brought to a great article on bulldozing your cubicle farm)

The Millennial generation not only has a grasp of digital technology, but the way Millennials think and behave is completely different from the generations before them. We no longer look for a position based on money and stability, we won’t get a job that we keep for the rest of our lives, and we won’t settle for anything we don’t believe in.

Millennials don’t want to be trapped in the 9-5 job, in a 3 wall cubicle that suffocates them, and companies need to begin to shift the way their offices function if they plan on staying in business for years to come. And I know, for all you other generations out there, you’re probably reading this thinking, “welcome to the real world,” but to you all I say is, “welcome to the future.”

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: Google

Take a look at the future of business. 21% of freelancers are still in university or college, and 54% of Millennials either want to start a business or already have started one. We’re only going to see this number rise as Millennials take the leap from the stuffy office culture that the older generations have grown to settle in, to a job that works better for them. We are the first generation to go against the grain, and show people that they don’t need to be stuck doing something they don’t love.

It is said to cost an average of $24,000 or more to replace each Millennial employee, and on average they’re only going to stick around for maximum 2 years within a position (compared to 5 years for Gen X and 7 years for Baby Boomers). The thought of settling in a job terrifies me, and it’s because I can’t imagine myself doing the same thing for the rest of my life, and believe me, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

A report by PWC explains perfectly what a Millennial wants in a job and workplace:

“Millennials tend to be uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures and turned off by information silos. They expect rapid progression, a varied and interesting career and constant feedback. In other words, Millennials want a management style and corporate culture that is markedly different from anything that has gone before – one that meets their needs.

The particular characteristics of Millennials – such as their ambition and desire to keep learning and move quickly upwards through an organization, as well as their willingness to move on quickly if their expectations are not being met – requires a focused response from employers. Millennials want a flexible approach to work, but very regular feedback and encouragement. They want to feel their work is worthwhile and that their efforts are being recognized. And they value similar things in an employer brand as they do in a consumer brand. These are all characteristics that employers can actively address.”

The companies that are beginning to adapt and succeed at changing their work environment are doing a pretty good damn job at it, does Google and Apple ring a bell at all? Why do you think every Millennial dreams about working in companies like those? I’ll tell you one thing, it has to do with much more than the household names.

Photo Credit: Huffington Post (click photo for a great article on wanting a culture of collaboration)

Photo Credit: Huffington Post (click photo for a great article on wanting a culture of collaboration)

We want more from employers then just something that pays our bills, we want a job that satisfies us and drives us and here are just some stats to prove it:

  • 64% of us want a job that makes us feel like we’re doing good and making an impact on the world
  • 88% of us prefer a collaborative work-culture over a competitive one
  • 74% of us want flexible work schedules, and 45% will choose workplace flexibility over pay
  • 88% of us want work-life balance

People can look at us as the generation who are selfish, irresponsible, lack life goals, and are scared of commitment or authority, but the truth of the matter is, maybe we’re the first generation to speak up for what we want? Maybe we’re the first generation to advocate for a change.

Corus Entertainment Office

Corus Entertainment Office

We need more collaborative workspaces, places that allow us to be creative, like the way these cool Canadian offices have built innovative work environments. We need technologically advanced workplaces, that make our lives easier and make doing business more effective and inline with 2015. We want computers that are customizable to help each individual employee function and work better, we want offices that allow social media and device freedom and flexibility, and ones that embrace the fact that we don’t live in an era where we simply shut off from the outside world from 9-5. And if workplaces don’t start making the transition and adapting, you not only won’t be able to keep up internally but you won’t be able to keep up externally.

Just remember this one thing, Millennials don’t need YOU to survive, you need them to survive, because just think of the generations that are coming up after them.

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