Back in early 2015, millennials officially surpassed generation X to become the largest generation in the American workforce. One-third of all workers out there right now are millennials, and given that they’re still comparatively young—the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median employee age is around 42 years old, while millennials are in the 18-34 age range—their influence on the workplace is only just beginning.
While some people hold negative associations when it comes to millennials, the truth is, they’re the future of the labor force. Millennials represent progress and evolution in the workplace. You can’t ignore the fact that you will almost certainly be hiring millennials in the near future if you haven’t already, so why not give them the best work environment possible?
If millennials have their eyes on cutting-edge technology and practices, then it’s in the best interest of your business to upgrade your working environment to include the latest technologies.
With that in mind, here are five things tech-savvy these young enterprising individuals expect from employers.
1. They Want Up-To-Date Technology in the Office.
A progressive company shouldn’t have any issue with this one, but perhaps the first rule above all for courting millennial workers is having up-to-date technology in your workplace. A survey from Microsoft showed that 93% of millennials cited companies having the latest technology as a top consideration when deciding where to work.
This means making sure all operating systems, processors, software, and even shared hardware like printers and copiers are up-to-date. The idea here is that millennials don’t simply want technology that will suffice; they want something that will make them better at their job. Outdated technology can’t achieve that.
2. Email’s Usefulness is Coming into Question.
One of those potentially outdated technologies getting flack from Millennials these days is email. They haven’t dismissed it outright just yet, but they certainly don’t see email as the ideal workplace communication tool. Even workers from older generations are starting to question email’s effectiveness. A recent survey from theEMPLOYEEapp said that while 97% of workers still use email frequently, none of them found it to be an effective tool, citing its clunky, inefficient, confusing reply chains as one big turn-off.
3. In-House Mobile Apps Could be the Way of the Future.
So if millennial workers (or anyone else, for that matter) aren’t big fans of email, how else are you supposed to communicate with your employees? Surprisingly, the aforementioned survey from theEMPLOYEEapp revealed that 90% of respondents believe a mobile app for company-to-employee communication would be an effective messaging platform for the workplace.
Not many businesses have in-house apps for their employees, but the logic makes sense. Most millennial employees prefer more frequent, informal communication to formal meetings or once-a-week email reports, and a mobile app or SMS system could be just the way to satisfy that desire.
4. Digital Communication is Preferred, so Utilize It.
A 2011 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 41% of millennials would prefer to communicate digitally rather than over the phone. Given that the world has only become more digital in the five years since, that number is likely higher today. While some may balk at this number and point to it as a reason why Millennials aren’t good workers, that doesn’t change the reality: digital communication is preferred. Why not use that to your advantage?
There are a number of great project management platforms, such as Trello, Slack, or Asana, that combine team task management with communication, so you can keep everything in one place. This fosters collaboration and allows millennial workers to thrive in an up-to-date, digital setup.
5. Open up the Workplace
If there’s one thing the best places to work have figured out about today’s employees, it’s that promoting a work-life balance should be a top priority. Letting people live their desired lifestyles while also working is a huge draw for millennials. One option for allowing a work-life balance is letting employees work remotely. Recent advances in telecommunication have made remote work easier than ever, so much so that some companies are entirely remote. Letting employees work from their ideal environment will only make them more productive, so why not open up the workplace and make remote work an option?
Millennials are here to stay, and they’re bringing with them some major, progressive changes to the modern workplace. How else is your office upgrading for a new generation of workers? Share with us in the comments! Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.