Living in the Cloud: Millennials And the Changing Nature of Work

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A growing number of businesses nowadays is beginning to understand that if they want to strive in the modern business landscape, they must change to meet the demands of the new generations entering the workforce. Namely, workers belonging to the millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000, has become the largest generation in the current workforce and will comprise three-quarters of the global workforce by 2025.

Millennials grew up in an era that features different attitudes about work and different expectations and aspiration for their careers. Millennials’ lifelong exposure to the Internet makes them the first continuously connected generation. Familiarity with technology makes millennials acclimated to technological advances including cloud computing and mobile technology, changing the nature of work as companies scramble to accommodate them.

Businesses must meet millennial workers in the Cloud and trust them to use cutting edge technology and new employment models to increase productivity, profitability, and loyalty in a globally competitive market. Here you will learn more about how a new generation is changing the nature of work.

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A Connected Lifestyle

A Nielsen study revealed that more than 85 percent of people in the Millennial Generation have smartphones and use them about 45 times every day. Another survey of Millennials indicates that 87 percent of this demographic uses two to three tech devices at least once each day. Similar statistics characterise the generation globally as “digital natives” that expect instant access to resources whenever and wherever they want them. Millennials have technology woven into their being and depend on it as an essential part of life.

Changing Expectations

In contrast to the millennial generation, baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) have traditionally adapted to the demands of the workplace. They often put their jobs ahead of their families to climb the ladder of success. Millennials take a different approach toward employment.

This new generation of employees expects the workplace to adapt to them. Knowing how to put technology to good use, millennials believe that technology makes them work smarter than previous generations. The new generation naturally embraces Cloud computing, mobile technology, and other resources because they have grown up with the Internet and related technologies as part of their life.

Current workforce trends require businesses to give workers a higher priority, providing them with the latest tools for communication and innovation. In exchange for their high productivity and efficiency, about three-quarters of millennial workers want flexibility in their work schedules and 88 percent desire “work-life integration.” As a result, the traditional 9 to 5 workday might soon become obsolete.

Employers must accept radical new ideas about work including flexible scheduling, remote work, and the global labour pool. Although the changes might initially seem strange, they will attract the high-quality talent businesses must employ to achieve success.

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Increased Productivity

Efficient use of mobile devices and the Internet characterise millennial workers. Instant answers to questions and easy access to data takes the very definition of productivity to the new level. The seamless flow of information makes collaboration effective, improving the performance of both individuals and teams. Workers who have never met in person can work together to complete projects and achieve goals in ways older generations probably never thought were possible.

The productivity increases achieved by Millennials have transformed the nature of corporate IT infrastructure. The ubiquity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has freed workers from their desks and have placed new demands on employers.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies permit workers to shift seamlessly between personal and business tasks. Additionally, the trend has relieved companies of the need to supply devices to their employees. As a trade-off, however, companies must deal with new security issues.

Companies now can outsource much of their IT, making the downsizing of IT departments possible. Cloud-based storage, Software as a Service (Saas), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) have paved the way to significant reductions in corporate IT labour and hardware spending. The agility that comes with the Cloud has helped companies respond more quickly to changing market conditions and internal requirements, giving many a competitive advantage.

Unhindered Mobility

Workers from the millennial generation have used technology to create lifestyles based on their own rules. Therefore, the generational shift has many side effects related to how business is conducted. As a result of the Cloud, workers can telecommute, replacing their desk at their employer’s office with a virtual office in their home that is often just as efficient.

Cloud flexibility makes offices increasingly mobile, allowing millennials to work from anywhere, even while travelling around the world chasing their dreams. Cloud-based communication and collaboration tools enable easy access to files and documents, where remote employees can work on the same project (even on the same document), participate in a project meeting, and constantly stay in touch.

The millennial generation lives in the Cloud. A new breed of worker now characterises the labour force, compelling companies to change every aspect of their operation. Amid changing expectations from the millennial workforce, businesses can find new opportunities to reduce costs and increase productivity while making technology work for them.

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