Millennials at work – wows and woesArchana Dhankar
We live in a time when age-old norms of the professional world are steadily coming undone. With the millennials commanding a significant percentage of the modern workforce, their priorities and vision have become central to the way employment practices are established and observed.
Work culture transformations are common, but both employees and employers are battling with the consequences of these rapid changes. Some of the significant trends in the 21st century that are impacting professional working styles are:
• The advent of technology as a facilitator of communication: Employees working out of different parts of the world can connect with others in real time without hassle.
• People are not afraid to experiment with their career options: They change jobs frequently, often in the search for the optimal scenario of work-life balance.
• Young talent is knowledgeable yet curious: Unrestricted by the ideology of unidimensional work routines. Millennials want to travel, experience new things, and manage their work around it.
• Work-Life Balance: The desire to have a healthy family life has been strongly vocalized and companies are compelled to pay heed to this expectation.
• Dynamic Workplaces: Job scope is subject to frequent change in most industries and finding talent that fits the bill, and is also satisfied with the work culture enough to stay on; is one of the challenges most enterprises face today.
As a consequence of the above realities, a significant change has come about in the modality of work execution. Many companies now allow their staff the freedom to work from anywhere (for instance from home or while travelling) instead of from office. This is a game-changing intervention that has several notable benefits:
• Employees can eliminate the time wasted and energy consumed in commuting to office spaces. This increases productivity and allows them greater time flexibility to achieve the coveted work-life balance.
• Employers can save on infrastructural and desk costs, and improve their social responsibility records on account of lesser resource consumption.
• When working from remote locations is acceptable, employees can reside in places with relatively lower real estate prices as compared to the higher rents in bustling urban centres.
All in all, working remotely seems to be a solution to most of the millennial woes regarding stifling professional commitments. And there seem to be some advantages of such arrangements for employers too. However, both the employers and employees are found struggling with this new work-from-home/elsewhere concept. Here are some tips which could help you cope:
First and foremost, if you are working remotely, either from home or elsewhere, avoid an attitude of laxity. That you are not in a monitored office space should not give you the freedom of being on a paid-leave or bare-minimum-contribution arrangement.
Ideally, if you are availing the benefits of flexible working space and schedule, your productivity should be higher than usual. Some ways to ensure this happens are:
• Create a plan for dedicated work. It does not need to be the typical 9-5 routine. If you have a time-slot that amps up productivity, go ahead and work accordingly.
• Assign a workspace to yourself within your home or remote work location. Working on the bed or with the television in the background tends to hamper productivity majorly.
• Make sure that your internet connection is secure and hi-speed so that you can use web tools to keep in touch with co-worker and clients.
• Even as you are not meeting your co-workers and team every day, make an effort to interact with them. At a new job, it may be a good idea to alternate between going to the office and working remotely.
As an employer, it is but natural to worry that with employees working remotely, your ability to supervise productivity stands compromised. However, if the advantages of such work culture are considered objectively, such insecurities seem unfounded. Some ways to optimise the work-from-home/elsewhere model are:
• Make employees accountable. Have procedural checks-and-measures which continually review employees’ productivity levels as well as job satisfaction.
• Encourage virtual team engagement activities which promote workforce interaction, even as the workforce is scattered.
• Utilize the capital saved from reduced infrastructural costs to enhance business strategy, client satisfaction, so on and so forth.
As is evident from the above, millennials’ work woes and wows are in no short supply. The contemporary professional environment can be improved by efforts from both young employees and their employers’ ends, and it has been seen a lot of new startups today are taking advantage of this work culture mindset to higher great talent and attract millennials who are looking for more than just a good pay package from their employer.