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Choosing when to start your work day. Opting to work from your home office. Meeting with the board through a virtual conference call when your kid is sick.
Sounds pretty perfect, right? And, it may sound like a fantasy world to many employers. But, the fact of the matter is that many millennial employees are asking why these aspects of employment can’t be part of their regular work routines. Currently, members of the millennial generation outnumber all others and are major influencers in the work force. They are speaking up loud and clear about the things they want. And, number one on their list is flexibility.
But, how can more flexibility be incorporated into a standard work environment? And, why are millennials so intent on finding increased flexibility, unlike anything available to past generations of workers?
They witnessed their parents struggle to move from one-worker families to two-worker families. Trying to juggle all responsibilities of working and raising a family is difficult. And, millennials see that it can be easier. They don’t want to spend the majority of their waking hours at their jobs. They see opportunities to be present and effective in both environments. In fact, they’d prefer to take a pay cut or skip a promotion in exchange for flexibility at work.
Technology Supports Flexibility
Unlike eras previously, the technology exists that can allow employees to work from home. Virtual employees meet up using internet-based software and communication. They meet through webcam conferences. They have instant communication with others in organizations located across the globe. It is no longer a requirement to be located in the same place to get things done. Millennials are fully aware of the opportunities that technology delivers for broadening the work environment and boundaries.
Valued for Ability
Millennials are tired of the concept of being valued for their presence. They want to be hired for the work they can do...not, for the physical space they can take up during “required” working hours. On demand gigs and contract jobs are becoming increasingly popular for this group...which, only wets their appetite more for flexibility.
Millennial employees are innovative. They look for new ways of doing old tasks. Just because something has been done the same way for 20 years is not a reason to keep the old routine, in their minds. Because everything is adaptable and up for more efficient methods, they feel that work environments should be more innovative and flexible.
Facing Flexibility Demands
Even though it may not resonate with your existing work environment, it’s worthwhile to explore ways that your current policies could become more flexible. Not only will you be able to attract and retain more millennial employees, but your other workers will benefit from more innovative policies.
Consider methods of streamlining current processes so they take less time or implementing new ways of completing them that could include virtual access. Develop work-from-home programs or explore the potential for allowing employees to utilize this option instead of taking a sick day or missing important meetings.
As you increase your efforts to meet the needs of millennial employees, you may notice how much more productive and loyal they will become. However, if you are resistant to change, you may find yourself with a workforce shortage in the future.
Clear Simple Business works with organizations to adapt and become more efficient. We can help businesses discover ways of becoming more flexible while retaining efficiency and productivity.
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