The beginning of 2015 marked a turning point where Millennials became the dominant generation in the American workforce: more than one in three workers is now a Millennial. This brings a series of opportunities and challenges to companies seeking to hire and retain the best people and effectively grow their businesses.
So who is a Millennial? Millennials are those people who came of age sometime around the year 2000. There are some 75 million people in this country who were born between 1981 and 2000, and they’re rapidly taking over the workplace – like it or not – and changing the way businesses communicate.
Here are some of the key ways Millennials are impacting the way we work, and the way people communicate within the corporate environment:
- Work-Life Balance. Millennials are demanding greater work-life balance than past generations of workers. This does not necessarily mean that Millennial employees are working less (although it can) but it is causing more and more companies to permit people to work from home, remote offices, or do work outside of standard business hours. From a communications standpoint, it is helping to drive the adoption of mobile clients and hosted communication systems, which integrate more easily across disparate sites than traditional premise systems.
- Proliferation of Smart Devices. The era of keeping work devices separate from personal devices is over. Millennial workers are demanding that ability to do work on their personal smart devices, and expect business applications to work across devices from a variety of manufacturers and operating systems. While this can present security threats to your IT department, the up-shot it that many employees are willing to foot the cost of their own device, making true BYOD possible for the enterprise.
- Video, Chat, Collaboration. Millennial employees grew up on instant messenger, video games, and Skype. They expect to be able to use a range of technologies beyond traditional voice calling, and they expect those applications to be easy to use. Video, especially, is becoming a standard way of communicating in real-time. Workers want the ability to conduct video calls with co-workers and customers, and to the extent enterprises lack a video strategy they risk falling behind or losing out on the best recruits from the new workforce.