2016: The Workforce Tide has shifted

2016: The Workforce Tide has shifted

By: Donna Metallic It is true the Millennial generation now makes up the largest population of the workforce.  At 27% of the workforce this group will bring new perspective and will drive different expectations. In fact, as Jamie Gutfreund, chief strategy officer for the Intelligence Group notes, a full 86 million millennials will be in the workplace by 2020—representing a full 40% of the total working population.  As their numbers grow so will their influence. We have heard the term millennial and this group of young people born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s. Sometimes referred to as the Echo Boomers and Generation Y, Millennials are the product of the spike in births during the 80’s and early 90’s that came about when Baby Boomers settled down to start families. How will they influence and what will they influence? Technology: Most Millennials always remember having a computer in the house and maybe playing video games from a young age. They were raised believing they could be anything they wanted to be- that is the American spirit and they have had different media coming at them from multiple angles – fast! Technology has shaped the Millennial in a way that no other generation has been molded. No other generation has ever had access to so much information so easily. No other generation has been able to get so much enjoyment while staying inside and staring at a screen. They have good work ethic; finding research and getting things done can take less time. Technology allows them to work faster and work on multiple things at once. They are the ones most comfortable with the new human appendage—the smartphone—that lets them stay connected to a vast network of friends and provides instant access to information, both good and bad. They are quickest to adapt to the ways in which the mobile Internet is changing the fundamental logistics of their lives, and the first to demand the workplace do the same. The technology aspect alone will shape the future workplace and how we interact with our tools.  They are harbingers of our connected future! This new shift will influence every aspect of our work environments; let’s embrace this change and let them teach us a few things! Thus far we have seen these emerging trends:  strong sense of community, work spaces that engage employees in personal ways; feeling more like home, autonomy to control when and where to work and how the work space can foster healthier habits and finally what every person wants no matter their generation: Enjoy work and be treated with respect as a valued member of a team.

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