Technology is constantly evolving, and millennials have learned to adapt to change easily. This is a beneficial quality in any employee, especially compared to members of older generations who may prefer to stick to what they know.
Although millennials are tech-savvy, some may be too dependent on technology for communication. Nowadays, staying on top of social media means always keeping your smartphone in hand. Texting and tweeting are norms in most aspects of life, but phone calls, emails and face-to-face communication are more common in an office. Thankfully, millennials are adaptable.
What does it mean to be tech-savvy?
In the past, being tech-savvy might have meant knowing your way around Microsoft Office. Today, its meaning has evolved — it’s more than just knowing the basics of software and apps. Most of us use only 10 to 20 percent of most programs’ full functionality. To be tech-savvy, you need to close the gap.
If you’re tech-savvy, you know how to make tech work for you and not the other way around. This could include incorporating online task organizers, news feed readers, calendar and email management tools, and productivity software.
How are tech-savvy millennials changing the workplace?
While millennials can offer companies a well-rounded skill set, they prefer businesses that can provide a flexible work schedule with opportunities to keep them engaged.
Did you know? According to a FlexJobs survey, more than 40 percent of those surveyed said they quit their job because of a lack of remote work options, while another 41 percent said a lack of a flexible schedule was their reason for quitting.
Millennials help bring work-life balance to the workplace, with an interest in flexible hours and remote work. Millennials don’t work well under micromanagement and prefer the flexibility of working from home or choosing freelance over full-time work.
A freer schedule allows for more family time, hobbies and overall better health. In future years, more millennials will move into management positions, which could create an uptick in flexible jobs.
Since millennials generally adopt and adapt to technology changes quickly, they can “reverse mentor” members of older generations, helping to instruct them on various tech applications and functionality. By using millennials as trainers, companies can retain engaged baby boomers and Gen X while retaining millennials who feel a sense of purpose in helping older generations learn.
Millennials see more in companies than their revenue reports or stock ups and downs. They believe a company should also be graded on its culture and environment as well as how it treats its employees.
Millennials appreciate diversity in the workplace through creative solutions, learning opportunities and equality. While tech plays a large part in their lives, millennials embrace emotional intelligence and are loyal to companies with honest and transparent business practices.
While millennials are among the most college-educated generations, they are also plagued with student debt. While most millennials still use their degrees when applying for jobs or promotions, most in leadership positions admit that they hire based on skills and experience rather than level of education or academic success.
The obvious benefit of growing up with ever-changing technology is the expectation that it will continue to evolve. Millennials not only expect change, but they also make change happen.
They are a driving force behind technological advances because they are in charge of those changes, and they’re the consumers demanding the advances. Their strides have resulted in devices, apps and technology that offer more flexibility, better communication and faster computing.
Millennials can quickly pick up new technology and master it. Members of this generation expect frequent updates and changes to software or services, and they are able to stay on top of those advances.
Bottom Line: Educating older generations on mobile technology can help extend your workforce at a time when many companies are scrambling for enough workers. According to Pew Research Center, there has been a sharp increase in older smartphone users. In 2012, 65+ individuals accounted for 13 percent of smartphone use; in 2021 the percentage increased to 61 percent.
What workplace technology attracts millennials?
Millennials in the workplace benefit any employer because of their innate ability to adapt to change, especially as it relates to technology. However, keep in mind the drawbacks of their constant exposure to and expectations for technology, because those could affect performance.
About 65 percent of millennials and Gen Z in a LivePerson survey prefer digital communication over one-on-one conversations and phone calls. Adding technology in familiar, practical ways can keep millennials engaged. Technology considerations in the workplace include the following:
- Large interactive video walls and signage
- Collaboration tools that reflect a global team
- Presentation software with real-time information
- Video conferencing for flexibility and a strong work-life balance
- Interactive whiteboards for bridging the gap between generations
- Automated systems for seamless collaboration
- Self-service technology for reserving space and time at the office
- Mobile devices for a sense of familiarity
- Quality audio options for a comfortable work space
Types of technology that attract millennials to the workplace
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of millennials in the workforce will increase by 4.5 million between 2019 and 2029, the biggest gain for a single age group over the next decade. That means businesses need to appeal to prospective employees with a strong interest in tech. One of the most common types of tech millennials look for is collaborative tools such as Basecamp and Slack.
Another technology that attracts millennials is e-learning opportunities. The idea of taking the time to attend in-person training can be a turnoff to prospective employees. Virtual learning apps and courses are preferred.