By the time most millennials reach 25, they have been working for nearly a decade. And we’ve also been hearing how lazy and ungrateful we are for nearly a decade. Both of these things are getting old.
The problem is most workplaces haven’t adapted to the new needs of millennials. We know millennials are hardworking and motivated, but you have to put us in the right situation. Here are the things I believe most millennials want in the workplace.
The idea that a job has to be 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, with two weeks of vacation is antiquated. Millennials see too many successful people making their own schedule to buy into this notion. However, we aren’t all entrepreneurial enough to start a business.
Flexible work schedules would go a long way in making millennials more successful. If your hardworking employee would rather work from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., does that really affect you negatively? They are still getting the work done. If your employee would rather work four ten-hour shifts to have a three day weekend, that’s still a forty hour week.
Workplaces should also allow more vacation opportunities. Otherwise, these millennials will have wanderlust and not be able to fulfill it till they are in their sixties. Allowing more internet and phone based work will give millennials the time they need to wander.
A Variety of Workspaces
Cubicles kill creativity. You are literally putting one of the most creative generations in a box. Millennials don’t like boxes.
For the more social people, have wide open lounges for working. Some people thrive while interacting with others. Let the creative juices flow openly.
Not everyone wants to come to work to socialize. Make these people happy, too. Some universities have “quiet” study lounges; workplaces should have the same. No phones, no talking, and no music will help introverts excel in the workplace, without an obnoxious neighbor leaning over the cubicle wall.
It’s not that we don’t respect authority; it’s that we rebel against being put in someone else’s box. Millennials are smart, motivated, and creative. We don’t want to be micromanaged. We want the opportunity to grow, and we cannot do that without some autonomy.
We’re not asking to be put on the Board of Directors. Just let us make decisions about our tasks. We view the world differently, and that can be invaluable in the workplace. With the right amount of autonomy, millennials will surprise you.
We’re willing to work hard, as long as we can do it our way.
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