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Create This Sort of Work Environment If You Want To Retain Millennials

Posted by | September 22, 2017 | Employer, Millennial

Via Forbes : Create This Sort of Work Environment If You Want To Retain Millennials

Gone are the days when employees must conform to a traditional 9-to-5 workday, losing precious hours of sunshine while being confined to a windowless cubicle. At least millennials think so.

We were raised in a different era than our predecessors, so naturally we have a different approach to getting things done. This doesn’t make us entitled or lazy. (Reminder, millennial over here!) Quite the opposite.

According to a study by Bentley University, 77% of millennials say that flexible work hours would make the workplace more productive for people their age. And flexible hours are just the beginning. A traditional, outdated concept of when and where to work isn’t going to cut it for my generation.

A flexible work environment can take on many forms, but the main idea is to shift away from set hours and not dictate when employees need to be in the office. There might not even be an office.

While this transition might be a hard pill for some execs to swallow, consider this…

Studies have shown that both employees and employers benefit from a flexible work environment. Millennials are determined to reshape the world of work because we know what environment we can not only perform in, but also thrive. Here’s why…

Millennials Value Work-Life Balance

Yes, work-life balance is still a thing, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Millennials value the genuine blending of their work and personal lives, so giving them the opportunity to control when they work and when they play (and how they fit together), makes for more fulfillment. According to Leslie Doolittle at Bentley University, “family, friends and making a difference in their community are much more central to millennials than previous generations.” We believe in the importance of community involvement. How are we going to contribute to society if we’re stuck in an office all day?

Millennials Are Experts In Digital Communication

Millennials are hyper-connected globally, always on. Early adopters, we grew up glued to tablets and smartphones, so digital communication comes to us as second nature. We’ve brought our love for technology into the workplace and know how to stay connected to our peers and run kickass meetings, even from afar. Why not let us cultivate a remote workforce and put these skills into practice? Research by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom showed that working remotely increases productivity and the total number of hours worked. Let’s put that research to good use.

Millennials Crave Loyalty And Stability

This might sound counterintuitive since we’ve been accused of job-hopping and leaving for the next shiny opportunity, but times are changing. According to a 2017 Deloitte millennial survey, millennials in the US are now more likely to say they will stay beyond five years than to leave within two. Part of this is due to an increase in flexibility on the job. McKinsey & Company found that millennials are more likely to accept a job offer from a company that offers flexible work schedules. Flexible work arrangements can also improve retention efforts. In short, we’re looking for freelance flexibility with full-time stability. If we’re in control of how and when we get things done (and are getting fair pay and upward mobility, of course) why jump ship?

Like any shift in corporate culture, transitioning to this type of environment won’t be without its challenges. Communication and good collaboration tools are key to a seamless experience. Luckily, millennials are experts at communicating on the job, especially with mobile friendly tools at their fingertips. A 24/7 kind of culture, some millennials may never be able to “turn off” from work and find themselves logging on over the weekend. But I bet if they’re sitting at a cafe with nitrogen cold brew in hand, there will be little complaining. That is what we signed up for after all.

I wouldn’t be hammering this in if it wasn’t for good reason. Companies are already implementing a variety of flexible practices; we just need to get more on board. Dell aims to have 50% of its global workforce on flexible schedules by 2020, and since millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, that’s a step in the right direction. Any wrinkles will undoubtedly smooth out over time as more and more millennials enter the workforce.

Collectively, let’s just say yes to less restrictions surrounding when and where work gets done. There’s no need to fear flextime and working remotely if it means increased satisfaction and productivity all around. Besides, adopting a flexible work environment will not only benefit millennials, but future generations to come.

The end of the cubicle era is fastly approaching.

Employers, take note… The future is now.

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