Research conducted internationally states that millennials prefer working remotely as opposed to going to the office. This is because this option offers flexibility and a more seamless blend of life and work.
The BrighterMonday Millennial Report that is as a result of a survey conducted on over 8000 urban millennials in Kenya shows a remarkable difference between the Kenyan and International millennial. The millennial in the Kenyan workforce prefers working in the office more than they do at home or other remote options.
Interestingly, if you conduct a quick, random survey on a choice sample of young, working individuals and include the option of working both remotely and in the office, the answers might be slightly different.
A quick Twitter poll on the BrighterMonday account showed that another option introduced into the equation seemed more appealing: the freedom to have a mix of both office and remote options.
This draws our attention to another major factor in the BrighterMonday report that respondents considered important; Flexibility.
With this information in mind, let’s look at some of the reasons why the Kenyan millennial would want access to both office and remote options as they work.
Added Investment on Internet and Equipment
Despite the widespread democratisation of internet connectivity across the country, limitation to just how much you can do with it as an employee is limited. Some of the office tasks required need bigger bundles that can only be made available by an employer. Hence, the need to go to the office once in a while to get these tasks done.
Also, you will find that the ease of working remotely is determined by the kind of equipment you need to get your work done. If you use a desktop computer in the office and you have no laptop at home, it might be tricky to get anything done considering you can’t keep carrying the components of your desktop computer to and from the office.
Your Role in the Company and Industry you Work for
Some positions and departments can easily thrive with members working remotely while conducting regular meetings for project status updates. Tech-based roles like developers, digital marketing, and sales can be heavily conducted remotely.
Some roles require daily team collaboration, or sophisticated equipment as in technical careers like engineering, medical and hospitality industries. For such roles, working from home or any other location completely misses the point of working at all.
Distractions in Environment
The workplace is already awash with distractions that steal valuable time that should be spent hitting targets and objectives. Working remotely, for most people, compounds these distractions. The fact that the environment is not ‘official enough’ decreases productivity for most people.
Constant Collaboration with Team Members
For most remote teams, broken telephone and time spent trying to get on the same page is a headache. Despite the sophisticated collaboration tools in the market like Slack, Skype, Trello and others, it still doesn’t beat the efficiency of a face-to-face meeting where people quickly get on the same page. This is why even teams that work remotely should physically meet every so often to iron out issues technology cannot solve.
We can therefore safely conclude that;
Flexibility is key for you as a Kenyan millennial. You want targets clearly set and deliverables laid out. For you, working smart is more important than working hard and you’d rather be measured by how well you hit your targets than just how many hours you clock in.
While it is clear with time and advancement of technology working remotely will become more attractive and natural, the Kenyan millennial currently wants a mix of both office and remote options. They want to assimilate more life into their work-life by following personal interests while still hitting their work targets.
As a young professional in Kenya, do you agree with this school of thought? Engage us in the comments.