The Millennial Workplace Is Coming – Will Managers Be Ready?

The workplace is changing, will you know how to handle it?
The workplace is changing, will you know how to handle it?
Image Credit: Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

As all managers have probably realized by now, the millennials have arrived. That younger generation of workers are moving into the office at the same time that the baby boomers are starting to move out. The arrival in force of this new type of worker is going to cause some fundamental changes to occur in the workplace. As a manager, you need to have the manager skills to be ready for the changes in tools, workspace, and culture. Do you know what is getting ready to happen?

It’s All About Technology

So who are these millennials that we are talking about? Millennial workers are the ones who were born between 1980 and 2000. By the time that 2025 rolls around they are forecasted to be the ones who will be making up half of the American workforce and 75% of the global workforce. At some companies millennials already make up over two thirds of their employees.

What managers need to realize about millennials is that they are the first generation to grow up with technology. This means that they are used to mobile apps and the platforms that support them. When we run into a computer related problem in the workplace, the millennials are often the first ones that we’ll call because they know how to fix this technology stuff. As the millennials start to take over the workplace, managers should expect to see their companies starting to make a bigger investment in both technology and devices. This is going to require us to get some additional manager training.

A side effect of the arrival of all of these devices is that managers should expect to see a decline in the number of face-to-face meetings that they are attending as video conferencing starts to become more popular. Millennial workers believe that the use of video in the workplace can have a significant positive impact on the company.

Collaboration Is How Work Will Be Done

In the past, managers were used to giving members of their team an assignment and then having them go off and work on it by themselves. With the arrival of millennials in the workplace, this is all going to change. Millennials are the experts when it comes to using social networks and collaborative tools such as blogs, Wikipedia, and even Google to find solutions to problems. Millennials like to share their ideas with others and work together to find innovative new ways to do things.

Instead of performing work by themselves, millennials prefer to work in teams. A study has shown that 74% of millennials like to work in small teams. 38% of millennials think that a company that has outdated tools to help workers collaborate is actually hurting itself. Your company is probably already starting to transform itself in order to better meet the needs of its millennial workers. The arrival of the open-office layout allows millennial team members to easily interact with each other and better share their ideas. It turns out that every day at the office is a form of team building in the future.

The Flexible Workspace Has Arrived

Managers tend to think of the office as the place where their team members will come to work. The problem with this is that it’s not the way that millennials see the world. Millennials tend to look at things with a great deal more flexibility. What millennials want from the company that they are working for is trust. They want to be told what to do and then left alone to do it.

The end result of this need for trust is that the company’s policy on where work actually gets done is going to have to evolve. When asked, millennials state that they believe that a company’s “work from home” and “work remotely” policies are critical to their willingness to work for the company. What this means for managers is that your team will be spending less time in the office and so you are going to have to adjust.

What All Of This Means For You

Change is coming to the modern workplace and managers are going to have to prepare for it. The arrival of the millennial workers is going to cause the way that we do business to change completely. As managers who are tasked with moving the company forward, we are going to have to adjust how we manage our teams in order to accommodate this new generation of worker.

In the coming years and decades, the tools we use at the office will change, and so will our workplace culture. The physical layout of our office may transform — in fact, companies may get rid of offices all together. As a manager you need to have no fear – keep in mind that change can be a good thing, and it’s how every company progresses. Including yours.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

There are a lot of managers out there. However, not all of them are great managers. If you would like to become a great manager, this of course brings up the question of just exactly what you will have to do in order to make this happen. It turns out that there is not just one characteristic that you are going to have to have, there are a number of them. Do you have what it is going to take in order to develop the manager skills to become a successful manager?

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