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How millennials are shaping the future of work

Sarah K. White | Aug. 5, 2016
Millennials are a driving force in the future of the workplace, pushing companies to modernise in order to keep up with the competition.

While millennials were the most likely to say they would use augmented or virtual reality software and that they want the latest tech at work, more people in this age group also expect robots will someday take their jobs. Of those polled, 35 percent of millennials expressed a concern that a robot will take their job, while only 28 percent of non-millennials felt the same.

Millennials are pushing change

If you want modern, find where the millennials work -- at least, that's what the research suggests. The study found that the workplace is evolving, with 57 percent of respondents saying they expect smart offices to arrive within the next five years but that there's a disparity in the market when it comes to how fast businesses are changing.

"Investing in the latest technologies isn't only becoming a way to improve office productivity, it's becoming a crucial part in the fight for talent. And it's an area where businesses can set themselves apart," says Hodges.

But millennials are the ones leading the charge, the study notes, pointing to this generation as a key driver in the "introduction and adoption of new technology." The study found that, of all age groups, millennials were the most likely to quit a job over tech; 42 percent stated they would leave a company due to "substandard technology." To compare, only 25 percent of those over age 35 agreed. Similarly, 82 percent of those under age 35 said that workplace tech would influence their choice when taking a new job, while only 67 percent of those over age 35 said the same.

"What the study truly illuminated is that if employers don't consider the demands and preference of this generation, they will risk losing strong talent and remaining competitive," says Hodges.

Millennials embrace collaboration

Employees still like meeting face-to-face, with 57 percent of respondents saying they prefer this type of communication. But 51 percent also said that with better communications technologies and the capability to work remotely will bring about the end of face-to-face communication.

The study found that 79 percent of millennials -- compared with 67 percent of nonmillennials -- said they felt the workplace is becoming more collaborative, with 36 percent also saying remote work allows for a healthier work-life balance, while also rendering face-to-face contact obsolete.

"Communication is no longer tied to the traditional face-to-face meeting; instead, with the appropriate solutions, communications have turned to many forms that can be equally as productive, if not more," says Hodges. She also notes that with new communication tools comes increased expectations around security. But that's not an excuse for businesses to ignore implementing the latest communication tools - otherwise "end users will find their own ways of implementing communication tools."


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