The Importance of Providing Millennials Flexibility in the Workplace
Engaging and retaining Millennial members and workers means shedding Industrial Era thinking and offering flexibility. Here are three ideas that Millennials (and Gen Zers) would love.
Flexibility has been shown to increase productivity and the quality of work. If employers want to keep Millennials it is crucial to figure out ways to bring more flexibility into the workplace. Flexibility is the preferred work environment that Millennials choose for themselves. It is important for employers to not become frustrated with “changing up the workplace” to accommodate younger generations. Industrial Era environments respond with statements like, “This is how it’s always been done.” Future-focused companies in the post-Industrial Era seek employee feedback and adapt as necessary.
Working from Home
This is largely due to how they were raised. Remember, Millennials grew up in homes with helicopter parents. They are the most protected, supervised generation in history. And my generation, Generation Z, has also been raised in close relationship to our coaches and parents. We’ve been asked to share our opinions since childhood and we’ve influenced household purchasing decisions. So the last thing we want is a job where we’re treated as though we can’t be trusted or need constant supervision. Millennials and Zs naturally crave more flexibility with projects and workplaces that allow us to learn how to make decisions for ourselves.
To younger generations, expressing your individuality is important. As a result, dressing ourselves has become more like an art. Dress codes in the workforce indicated what was acceptable for previous generations to wear to work. However, Millennials and Zs are looking for a place where we can be ourselves. We want to be free to express ourselves in other ways besides black dress pants and a blouse. Allowing us to choose an outfit that best represents our sense of style is yet another level of flexibility. Of course, this does not mean going as far as allowing anyone to dress inappropriately. We just want a less restrictive dress code.
Individuality and Confidence
I would argue that people like to interact with real people, not a unified company of robots who all look the same. Maybe that’s a Millennial/Generation Z perspective, but Millennials alone represent the largest consumer base and represent the majority of the workforce. We’re influencing change, and we believe that employees who are allowed to act as individuals helps bring in customers. Customers–especially customers in our age groups– are drawn to confident and authentic people. And people are generally more confident when they are wearing a clothing style that properly represents who they are as a person. There is really nothing better for your company than having employees who are happy at work and exuding confidence while doing their work!
In the Post-Industrial economy, workplaces that offer flexibility in such areas as working from home, dress codes, and expression of individuality are more attractive to Millennial and Generation Z employees. Millennials, now the largest generational demographic, will and are changing work cultures. This change is not just because of their sheer size, but because according to a 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey, Millennials are not merely observers, but are world changers.
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