28 Jun 2017
The view from millennials
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Participants in Odgers Berndtson’s CEOx1Day program offer their personal perspectives on the future of work and the workplace
Abdallah Madi, Brazil
In the future, we need to have a better work-life balance. One of the solutions may be to adapt the workplace. I see the work environment becoming more personal to each individual, bringing an aspect of ‘home’ into the working day. A better work-life balance is a deep desire from my generation and that is what we will fight for.
Adnan Khan, Canada
Millennials have been labeled as the ‘job-hopping generation’. While employee turnover adds significant costs to organizations and the economy, it has its benefits. Firstly, young professionals are becoming agiler and are able to quickly adjust to new roles. Secondly, organizations are reaping the benefits of cross-pollination as young professionals hop around and share best practices from previous employers and industries.
Alexander Bunker, UK
I would like to see a far more widely integrated workplace with a greater variety of individuals holding positions of importance. I am excited to see the impact of technology, automation and AI upon ‘work’. While many fear the potential consequences of automation, I believe it could lead to significant advances in the quality of life for many globally. I believe my generation, with an increasingly liberal lean, will bring huge changes to the integration of women and minorities into the workplace.
Heidi Van Dyck, Belgium
Our generation has grown up in an environment where innovations have followed one after the other at a high pace. I believe this has made us more accepting towards change in general. We are tech savvy and therefore comfortable with the notion of social media. We are not afraid to adopt new tools in the workplace. Many of us have had international study or work experience already, so we are familiar with and excited about collaborating with people from different countries. As a final important aspect, we have witnessed the popularity boom of start-ups and entrepreneurship. I strongly believe that we, knowing that we have the choice between working for a start-up or starting one of our own as an alternative to working for an established company, will be looking to get more responsibility right from the start of our career.
Jens Duholm, Denmark
I expect work time will disperse more over the 24-hour day, as the autonomy of many jobs will increase with human capital gaining even more in importance. I also expect work relations to be less formal and static, developing the opportunity to work in many different places when you have the time and when the firm has the need – this is a major trend for which I have high hopes. Further, I believe the boundary between working hours and leisure time will become more blurred as many people’s job becomes a lifestyle and not only an income resource as before.
Marissa Lobben, South Africa
I think millennials are already more focused on wanting to work for companies that are socially conscious, which is going to force companies to change to stay relevant and interesting to job seekers. Women are making up a larger percentage of the workforce year-on-year, and I think it is important for the workplace to provide support for women (i.e. maternity leave benefits) and encourage their growth and development into leadership positions. Remote working with Skype, WebEx and tons of other video chat sites means there is less and less need to meet in person. I believe in the near future people will be able to apply for jobs in cities other than those where they live.
Jesse Ketonen, Finland
In work, ‘place’ becomes less relevant. People can work from anywhere. This, of course, sets new challenges for leaders. People who are networked globally, who can execute things globally, who can utilize resources on a global level, will perform better.
Technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning will have a huge impact. A lot of decisions are made or guided by computers, not people. The roles of many people will change, and job descriptions will be very different. Our generation will be seeking ways to automate repetitive tasks and focus instead on the most challenging and rewarding ones. This will bring tremendous effectiveness, but also challenges. Organizational changes will be huge.
Our generation will be very adaptable. They will help organizations emphasize fast learning and question old truths. They will demand less bureaucracy and formalities. Instead, they will cherish freedom and dynamism. Our generation seeks purpose and meaningfulness from their work. If the workplace fails to deliver this, money can’t help.
Enrique Batani Oseguera, Mexico
I belong to the ‘millennials’ generation, and as far I can tell our generation doesn’t want to waste any time, although we know how to be patient. Thus, having an annual-based career plan is very important for us, as well as having tangible promotions. This means that we know what we will achieve if we surpass our yearly objectives, hierarchically and monetarily.
Additionally, our living reality is changing, forcing us to find accommodation further away from the city. Hence, having a flexible schema for remote working and flexible hours will not only make us work more efficiently but also make us rethink whether we take one job or another based on these criteria.
The Odgers Berndtson CEOx1Day program is a global initiative designed to uncover promising future leaders and give students the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a senior executive. Students go through a rigorous recruitment process. Each finalist spends a day shadowing a CEO and learning about their background and career path and gets an opportunity to transfer skills and better understand what drives these future leaders.
These are just some of the many responses to a survey of recent participants in the CEOx1Day program.