The term “millennial” has come to refer more to a young person’s character than simply their age group. Unfortunately, it is quite often used in a none too positive light.
For many, the word has become synonymous with a sense of entitlement, brashness or even arrogance. Of course, it is entirely unfair to tar a whole generation with that brush. These are characteristics that one may only ascribe to an individual. However, what is undeniable is the hyper-technological environment in which they have developed – and the consequent impact of that. Millennial habits have come to define the workplace of today; we have a working generation with wholly different requirements and ambitions to its predecessors.
Yet this is an ongoing transition, not a singular one. The young working generation of today lays the foundation for the next one. It is also important to consider, therefore, what we could see from “Generation Z”.
What Are The Millennials After?
There are a number of emotional analyses of millennials which draw vague conclusions. They “look for adventure”; they are “passionate about values”; you will likely have heard the kind of thing. Most evaluations agree, however, that millennial habits revolve predominantly around technology –often specifically mobiles and tablets. It naturally follows that this is a generation which expects that technology to work consistently, and simply. Furthermore, that technological activity integrates seamlessly with their work and social lives. The millennial generation is one that can socialise or work while simultaneously consuming products and services.
What Does A Millennial Workspace Strategy Look Like?
The above characteristics have led the millennial generation to frustration over archaic working methods. They have sought out open-plan workspaces, Bring-Your-Own-Device strategies and cloud data storage in the employers they join. They want to be the architects of their own work patterns. Though an office space remains the fulcrum of any workforce, millennial workspace strategy is typified by a looser reliance on a central company HQ. Agile Working, as it is often dubbed, constitutes the modern, dynamic way of competitive business operations.
These things depend on data centralisation in the cloud, so that all business information is securely accessible from wherever the user chooses to work, through that user’s own device. Furthermore, they depend on reliable connectivity and effective real-time interaction between staff members through technological means. These provide for efficient, agile and collaborative business activity. Don’t think of this as indulging youngster whims; think of it as embracing typical millennial habits to engineer a more forceful enterprise.
The Mystery Of Generation Z
Having established what the current young are after, what does it indicate for the next working cohort? What, for that matter, will that generation be known as? Let us call them Generation Z, as a progression of the much-fabled Gens X and Y. However, another term used to describe that projected age group is the “Builders.” Perhaps this title gives us an insight into what kind of workforce we discuss here.
While the millennial generation grew up with technology, they are still old enough to remember a time without it. Z will be the first bracket to never know a world without the likes of smartphones or social media. Accordingly, this is a generation projected to be coding, developing and programming software as if it were the easiest thing in the world. A practically-minded bunch, they keep themselves abreast of the commercial realities of software, and understand its broader value to people. They are less interested in the technological gimmicks of today than their millennial counterparts. They are, however, an equally-driven group who look to build the future today.
The framework for how Z works is a flexible, collaborative one, much like the plan employed by their millennial predecessors. Information will become more freely available; communication will become easier and more productive; technology will become cheaper and more reliable. Z will construct its working style on a platform of open, accessible data, which is processed and analysed through cloud-based machine learning analytics. They are distinguished from millennials primarily through their social values and more cautious attitudes towards social media. They are arbiters and seek greater control over their work. Yet the technological platform that supports them is largely the same – and the time to construct that platform is now.
The internet has given today’s youngsters licence to aspire and create. As a millennial myself, I know this to be true and know millennial habits as a positive influence on the business sphere. One must respect the new generation that is on the horizon, however. Note that the time to prepare for the Generation Z builders is nigh. Using technology to build a bigger, slicker and more dynamic business will only become more of an imperative need as time progresses.
Viastak work to support businesses looking to leverage technology, in order to streamline the way they operate. We believe in creating flexible, dynamic enterprises that are equipped to deal with the demands of the modern global economy. To find out more, please get in touch.
Written by Oliver Kiddell
Oliver Kiddell, Author at Viastak Technologists.