No, tomorrow’s office is not (only) for Millennials!

No, tomorrow’s office
is not (only) for Millennials!

The younger generation seems to be trying to transform the work environment? The transformation is however much wider than that, and the “early adopters” are not always those that you think.

By 2025, they will be the most numerous in companies. They are the millennials, the famous new generation of professionals born between the 80’s and the year 2000. In seven years, they will represent 75% of the workforce in the world according to “Cabinet Deloitte”. Many firms are already trying to change their organisation to develop new ways of working, more in line with the supposed expectations of these workers. More shared spaces, increased mobility, advanced technology, … It is impossible to deny that the work environment is undergoing a profound transformation and that it is essential to attract and keep the best new talent. However, it would be a mistake to limit this to a single category of employee.

The analyst CEB took an early interest in these changes and tried to recognize their impact by age group. There are several interesting lessons! Firstly, the ability to adapt to change is not just for younger people. Of those aged between 18 and 35 years, 23% easily adjust to change, compared with 24% of 36 to 55-year olds – and 22% of the over 55’s. So, we cannot say that the difference is enormous. Another figure: 33% of 18 to 35-year olds consider themselves as “early adopters” concerning technology. This is slightly more than the over 55’s (30%) and even less than the 36 to 55’s (35%). So, adaptability to the digital environment is not a question of generation, but of the individual. Finally, all age groups do the same proportion of work in their team. The willingness to carry out projects in a more cooperative way is therefore not just a characteristic of millennials.

I Telework: baby-boomers like it!

So, could all this transformation phenomenon simply be an invention? Of course not! In fact, it is more widespread than you might think – and therefore more strategic. The development of new communication tools, document sharing or teamwork, offer professionals many opportunities to gain in productivity – whatever their age! Companies would be wrong to initiate a transformation policy limited to appealing to younger employees; whereas everyone, including the most experienced with already established work habits, can take advantage of current computer innovations. Therefore, it is essential to consider the expectations of all employees – newcomers as well as the long-timers. The possibility of working remotely is a strong expectation among baby-boomers, as confirmed by a recent study by publisher Fuze.

« 73% of baby boomers and 60% of millennials are interested in the possibility of working where they want. […] With age, the possibility of negotiating freedom of workplace seems to become stronger – but also a search for comfort »

… declares Le Monde Informatique.

The key to satisfying the greatest number is simplification. It goes without saying that deploying a centre – where only a handful of insiders trained in the latest technologies can work – will be of no use for the growth of your business. For example, for the whole organisation to benefit from modern videoconferencing, the system must above all be simple to maintain and use – also easy for administrators to manage.

The creation of various spaces (bubbles, phone box, small spaces for three or four persons, etc.) will also make it possible to satisfy many different uses, plus the habits and preferences of everybody (need for isolation to concentrate or for phone calls, need for meetings to share information or compare ideas, need for comfort to receive clients or partners, …). Here, the support of a partner like VIDELIO can play an important role because of its understanding of the issues involved in new shared spaces. Let it be said, “Transformation is not a question of age, but of use!”

François FRANCON

Organisation & Human Resources Manager