Millennials Impact on Today’s Workplace—its all Positive!

A recent column in The Washington Post written by Emily Matchar set forth an interesting perspective on how the rest of us should be grateful for the Millennials and the way they are pushing organizations to change. Rather than fighting their way of work, her point was that “ this generation is improving the workplace one demand at a time. “

I remember the first time I heard Bruce Tulgan talk about Generation X and their approach to work. Someone in the audience said, “They are asking for things we all wanted---we just didn’t know we could ask.” The same thing can be said for what the Millennials are doing in the current workplace.

Matchar says that Millennials want “engaging, meaningful, flexible work that doesn’t take over their lives.” Flextime and telecommuting have been talked about for many years but now are being widely implemented across the US and it sure makes sense to give employees more control over their work schedules—also has tremendous impact on traffic, the environment, and even saves costs for employers who can save money on office space, utilities, and much more.

This article quoted a study done by MTV of people called “no collar workers”. 81% of the 500 people surveyed said they thought they should be able to set their own hours at work at 70% said they needed “me time” at work (compared to 39% of people in the Boomer generation!). 90% of those surveyed said they think they are entitled to have what they would call their dream job and they want to be heard at work—even when they are the newest kid on the block at work.

And why not? Seems to me they are just being a lot more upfront than we were when we entered to workforce. Sitting back and waiting for your chance to contribute is probably not going to do it in today’s competitive workplace.

There is a lot to learn from the Millennials and I for one, am cheering them on—what they are asking for and demanding just make sense. What does it matter how long someone spends at work if they produce the results your organizations needs? I used to have a boss who counted the cars in the parking lot at 6 pm and then would tell me we had a problem—our employees weren’t committed to the organization. My response was always, “Is the work getting done and if so, why worry about when it happens?”

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