Every day it seems like another Facebook post hits my newsfeed promising that if I just do this one amazing thing, I’ll unlock my maximum productivity potential. It’s an enticing promise. The thought of being able to conquer anything and everything that matters to me will motivate me to do a lot of things.
But what fascinates me, as a millennial freelancer, is how my generation is changing the traditional office. Of course, a lot of us are skipping the traditional workplace experience and diving into the shared economy, or as a dedicated freelancer. But, for the sake of this article, let’s take a look at the changes happening inside the traditional, 9-5 office.
The Workplace is Mobile
Roughly eighty-percent of workers, when polled, admit to taking work home. I use the term “admit” because most companies want to avoid their employees taking work home with them. First, if the employee is hourly, there are potential legal repercussions to an employee working off the clock. Second, taking work home represents an information security risk.
But, all the risks aside, millennials have been educated in a system that encourages homework. How much work in high school and college is done outside of the classroom (i.e. training office)? With the advances in mobile tech (from iPads to smartphones with more technical capacity than all of NASA in 1969), work doesn’t have to be a place anymore.
The 9-5 Workday is Now Optional
With mobility comes flexibility on time. Work used to mean a set time during the day, in which we as humans agreed to trade our freedom for a paycheck. Information is now stored on servers, instead of filing cabinets and bookshelves. Collaboration in the cloud is real. Virtually everything we need to do work can be accessed from anywhere with a stable Wi-Fi connection.
Productivity Software is Now Cross-Platform
Remember that cloud that I mentioned a moment ago? The way that millennials, and a lot of other people have become reliant on the cloud has productivity developers taking note. For example, Adobe commissioned a study to understand how “cross-platform accessibility” impacts the service choices that consumers make. Turns out that 34 percent of millennials utilize cross-platform capabilities, a figure that’s 14 points higher than the population at large.
In the workplace, this means employees are now jumping between devices to get work done. Whether that device is a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, the right tool for the job is becoming a multiple-choice question with multiple correct answers.
Whistle While You Work
Have you noticed work is starting to move to a different beat? The proliferation of wireless speakers on the market is, in part, because millennials are listening to far more music while they work, when compared with previous generations. Apple Music, Google Play and Spotify make it easy to stream our favorite tracks and create playlists for virtually every occasion. And millennials are taking full advantage in the workplace, listening to 75% more music than baby boomers.
Mobility, Multi-Platform Support and Music are Defining Millennials in the Workplace
If you want to peer into the workplace of the future, I think you’d find yourself in a work pod. Instead of offices, you’d find a modular isolation chamber installed into the residence where an employee works. If you’ve seen Netflix’s Black Mirror, it isn’t hard to imagine.
But today, millennials are invading the office of yesteryear and making changes. They’re moving while they work, marching to the beat of the earbuds in their ears. And, they’re extremely comfortable getting things done while away from the office. The cloud has spoiled us, and we aren’t going back!
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