When we think of Millennials in the workplace, what do we think of? 28 to 35 something-year-olds wearing ripped jeans and headphones, within a spacious, open workplace that has blasting music and plenty of beanbags?
This image has perhaps been informed by the stereotype that has formed within recent years of the ‘picky’ young worker, who has demanded new flexibility in regards to the traditional 9-5 working format. However, how true is this demanding image in reality? Are Millennials the sole catalyst for new workplace trends like remote working?
Here at Aspire, we wanted to find out what people really thought about the growth of Millennials in the workforce. We conducted a series of surveys, sent out to both our UK and APAC clients and candidates in the Marketing, Media, Digital, Sales and Technology fields, in order to collect their thoughts regarding Millennials. By collecting this information, we hoped to address whether Marketing leaders and HR professionals need to consider such trends in order to acquire new talent, and retain their star employees.
Who even are ‘Millennials’?
The term ‘Millennial’ gets thrown around a lot today by the media, but what does it really mean?
The Millennial generation refers to those born between 1981 and mid 1996. They will, by 2025, make up 75% of the world’s workforce.
With this dominance comes the influence that their expectations bring. Something that most employees would notice is that lots of new initiatives have been introduced within the last few years, aligning with the continued growth of Millennial workers. These initiatives include remote working, flexible working, and open plan offices. Indeed, 67% of our survey respondents claimed that these initiatives had been introduced in the last two years, and that their office has been deliberately made more open for Millennials.
Are Millennials responsible for all these changes?
To categorise Millennials as the sole catalyst for workplace changes would be disregarding other social phenomena that have occurred within recent years.
For instance, take the increase in working mothers and the rise of technology in the workplace. More different types of people are working, and working with those in different time-zones across the world. The office-bound 9-5 job is less applicable than ever; as companies collaborate globally, effective collaboration demands a move away from traditional working hours.
These changes, alongside our current candidate-short market, have meant that companies have been forced to offer more competitive initiatives in order to retain, and attract, high calibre talent. Younger workers have become accustomed to these structures, and companies will have to improve on them to attract new Millennial talent as the years go by.
Should businesses care about this?
In short, yes! One of the most compelling statistics that we found within our survey was that 30% of respondents said they were actively looking for a new job. 51% said they would move on from their current role in the next year. The ideology that previous generations had of a ‘job-for-life’ no longer exists. If a company wants Millennial workers, they need to engage with their desires.
Of course, it is not only the responsibility of the employer to give and give without any return. In order to attain the benefits that Millennials have become accustomed to, they must be driven and high achieving. The new initiatives that have appeared in workplaces are only sustainable if the workplace continues to be a two-way street, and a place of fruitful collaboration.
Clearly then, Millennials are disruptive, but are products of a disruptive time. The traditional workplace is being turned upside down as new workers have entered the workforce. In order to keep up, companies must accept this disruption, and embrace it.
If you found this interesting, you’ll love reading the rest of our Workplace Trends Report. Let us know your thoughts on the modern workplace!
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