With Generation Y entering the workforce and slowly taking over managerial positions, you can expect big changes in the workplace. In fact, many research centers decide to focus on Millennial professional culture and bring us new studies and surveys to dig into and understand that new generation of workers. One of such surveys is this one from PwC, which openly suggests that the Millennial generation will ‘reshape’ the workplace.
But what exactly does that mean? Here are 7 key ways in which Gen Y is predicted to change work culture as we know it.
- No more work-life balance, but a blend of the two
Where older generation saw a strict boundary, Millennials see a blurred line. Work and life might seem like two opposite spheres, but for Gen Y, they’re perfectly blended together. Communication technologies play a big part in this change. Working from anywhere and anytime on their laptops and mobile devices, Millennials aren’t the ones to appreciate a 9 to 5 working style. They never disconnect after hours.
Not to mention the fact that Millennials lead much more complex family lives. They not only have to take care of their children, but also aging baby boomer parents – many of which weren’t lucky enough to land a place in long-term care spaces.
All in all, Millennials might leave the office early to pick up their kids from daycare. But that’s not the end of their workday. They’re available under mobile devices at all times. And they can use any computer to finish tasks they began to work on at the office. This is how the work-life boundary is deconstructed, effectively helping workers to lead more flexible lives.
- Measuring productivity will change
Millennials don’t believe in annual performance reviews or rigid working hours. Gen Y managers won’t stop until they identify the right metric that will help them to measure the productivity of workers. And it’s definitely not the number of hours they sit by the desk. From frequent feedback systems to performance indicators, measure will be developed to ensure that worker expectations are met and communication between managers and employees is smooth and effective.
- New focus on professional relationships
Millennial managers will be interested in emotional intelligence, just as much as in hard skills which found lots of appreciation among earlier generations. Relationship building and self-awareness are key concepts in the millennial workspace. Millennials are rational, but willing to put people and relationships first.
They’re the kind of mangers who realize that the entire value of their product or service relies on the awesomeness of their team. And they’ll be ready to use the team for promotional purposes as well, building their brand through behind-the-scenes videos and images showing company culture. These relationships are moreover likely to extend after hours – after all, engaged Millennial workers feel like they’re creating a value, and that’s more than just work. It’s passion.
- Empowered employees
Millennial managers will do their best to help employees in moving forward in their careers. They’ll be ready to improve things, not maintain the status quo. They’ll challenge professional habits, try new processes, and dare to think differently about situations. Naturally, they’ll encourage employees to do the same and provide their feedback as often as possible to ensure that the organization is progressing in the right direction. Millennial managers will be of a supportive kind, more likely to sponsor employees and ensure they can access growth opportunities. Investing in people, Gen Y managers will deliver quality work to their enterprises and drive sector innovation.
- What matters most are results
The results-only work environment (ROWE) is the new reality brought on by Millennial managers, who like to evaluate performance, not presence. That’s why they’re likely to abandon rigid working hours and allow employees full freedom to work wherever and wherever they want. Just as long as the work is done, these mangers won’t care about how employees spend their time.
Naturally, ROWEs aren’t a possibility in all workplaces. Think hotels, restaurants or any other business where physical presence of employees is key to success. Still, ROWEs will become the norm in the new knowledge economy as Millennial managers deploy their new workplace strategies. Employees will find their work more flexible then ever, without any time constraints and perks such as unlimited paid vacation time.
- Delivery of regular and immediate feedback
Feedback is something Millennials like. A lot. And the same goes for Gen Y workers and managers. They value immediate and effective feedback delivered in real-time to help them improve their results and render their workflow more efficient. This is just ideal in ROWE kind of workplace, where employees manage their work on a daily basis, without having to depend on annual reviews.
Performance measuring is one thing that motivates employees to reach out for more and become better at their jobs. Gamified platforms like Work.com and WorkSimple are there to provide a glimpse into the organizational structure, showing how productive employees are and who the best performers among them are. Talents are recognized and rewarded by colleagues and managers alike. Some organizations even introduce prizes or special points systems, where rewards can be exchanged for gift cards or attractive technological devices.
- Communication changes
No more unproductive long meetings. Millennial managers will make sure that time is managed wisely and isn’t wasted on anything like that. In the same vein, email communications will give way to instant messaging and video conferencing. Both emails and meetings are redundant often waste everyone’s time.
Gen Y leaders will depend on social networks, instant messages and all manner of calls. Communication will be key in future workplaces where an increasing number of workers will be telecommuting. Managers responsible for dispersed teams will need to use all tricks up their sleeve to make sure that the workflow isn’t interrupted, communication is smooth and productivity is increased among the entire team.
Knowing what will happen in the next couple of years will help you to prepare yourself for these changes and adapt when necessary to new working cultures. Millennials are just about to impact the professional reality, so brace yourself and make the most from the cultural changes brought in by this new generation of passionate workers.