Sept. 19, 2016

After recently publishing a post on LinkedIn titled “How To Really Relate With Millennials,” I became enthralled with how other generations viewed their Gen Y employees. I found article after article that attempted to dive into the mindset of a millennial, analyzing the values and behaviors of this 18-29 age group. With millennials now being the largest generation in the workplace, 53.4 M to be exact, companies are now spending significant amounts of time and money in order to attract and retain this new workforce.

Being born in the digital era myself, I will say I have become accustomed to being connected 24/7. We’ve grown up during a time in which technology is continuously evolving, providing us with instant access to news and information. Every few years, Cisco publishes a Connected World Technology Report in order to identify the technologies, such as mobility and collaboration, that will change the way we work. Over the years, this report has changed from analyzing if the Internet is a fundamental human necessity to how workers of all ages are becoming more accustomed to mobile devices and working remotely.

Being with an IT integration firm that’s a Cisco Gold Partner, I’ve seen how technology has changed the way we work. So what exactly do millennials look for in the workplace?

Mobility – Most millennials crave a culture which mirrors the life of an entrepreneur. Since we are connected 24/7, majority of employees today are already working around the clock. Because of this we crave workplace flexibility –  meaning we can work when, where, and how we’d like as long as we are properly managing our time and delivering results. Seema Nair, HR Director with Cisco India, states nearly four out of every ten employees work in a different location than their managers in their organization. Cisco’s Mobile Workspace Solution has brought this concept to life by providing you any combination of Cisco BYOD, Desktop Virtualization, and Mobile Collaboration into the workspace.
Workplace Collaboration – Collaboration is one of the top things millennials are looking for in an employer. Millennials aren’t wrong to want this – the most successful companies build great ideas around the use of physical and virtual tools to inspire and empower their employees. Organizations today are looking to design a workspace that encourages interaction while providing a virtual environment with voice, video, and data technologies. Cisco provides collaboration solutions for any size organization, giving our customers the ability to improve employee engagement, increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and promote innovation. Check out Cisco’s How-To Guide: Creating Exceptionally Collaborative Workplaces for tips on designing a workplace of the future.
In the end, Cisco employee Kati Dahm describes our generation best in her article following a #GenYatWork panel discussion a few years back.

Dahm explains, “Learning how to work with millennials is important, but I think this panel created an important precedent for companies hoping to recruit millennials – we have learned to work in a wide variety of ways, and we have pretty much identified the way we work most effectively. Working from home may be ideal for some individuals, where others may prefer to be in the office for free lunch. Realizing these differences in work style for Gen Y may be the most important in tailoring recruiting and retention programs for the next generation workforce. Free froyo may be appreciated, but it’s recognizing the differences in Gen Y employees that will attract us to your company.”

Interested in improving productivity with collaboration solutions? Contact Epoch Universal today to learn how we can help you design a workplace based on people, space, and technology. In the meantime, check out Cisco’s Project Workplace to build out meeting scenarios, explore collaboration products, and discover experiences.

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