Jonathan Openshawe talks about digital millenial

Technology has profoundly disrupted the workplace, and this goes deeper than replacing fax machines with cloud computing.

The digital Millennial is a new kind of worker who no longer looks for a job for life.

Instead of long-term security and benefits, members of this generation are motivated by a lifetime of learning and personal advancement, and seek specific roles and job titles that add to their personal portfolio.

One of the trends that define this generation is Bleisure, which LS:N Global has been tracking since 2009.

Rather than seeing business and leisure as opposing forces to be kept in check – as their parents’ generation may have done – Millennials are seeking a more seamless life experience that can combine both. Technology facilitates this need.

A recent Harris Poll study revealed that Millennials conduct 26 per cent of their work on mobile devices, while 42 per cent already own or plan to buy a wearable device, and 95 per cent of these plan to use these devices for work tasks.

With the rise of Bleisure, we have also seen how the principles that Millennials apply to their personal lives are migrating to the workplace.

Rather than work being a necessary evil, it has become an opportunity for them to actively improve themselves and their community, and even to tackle global inequalities.

Deloitte has found that 68 per cent of Millennial workers think their businesses should do more to address resource scarcity,while 65 per cent expect them to tackle climate change and 78 per cent will decide on a job offer depending on how innovative they perceive a company to be.

Millennials are no longer happy to serve as cogs in a corporate machine, but want to present themselves as brands in their own right.

Digital Millennial workers are flexible and collaborative, preferring a modular working structure that changes with each new project, and introduces them to new skillsets and contacts.

They are highly motivated by transferrable pay-offs such as job titles – anything that is as mobile as they are and that can be carried with them to their next role.

And this will come sooner than you might like: they are not a loyal demographic, and tend to move on after months rather than years.

Instead of trying to fight the less appealing characteristics of Millennial workers, employers need to start understanding them better and working with their strengths.

Rather than pinning them down into specific long-term roles, a trend towards job-sharing and long-term temporary projects is emerging.

Full-time employees may begin to make up a diminishing proportion of the workforce, and the role of the people manager (that’s Millennial HR) who can quickly bring together the relevant skillsets is on the rise.

 

Jonathan Openshawe

Jonathan Openshawe is Editor of LS:N global at The Future Laboratory

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