For Millennials, There’s No Place Like (Working From) Home
Or pretty much anywhere, really...
The Internet is full of articles about how Snake People – ahem, Millennials – differ from previous generations. One thing is certain, the consensus among younger employees is that work is more of a “thing” they do, rather than a “place” they go. With their smartphones and tablets within arm’s reach at all times, Millennials are just as likely to receive a midnight Snapchat from a friend as they are to send an email to their boss at that hour. Moreover, they tend to view flexible work arrangements as improving both organizational performance and personal well-being.
Millennial Work Preferences
By and large, the Millennial workforce expects employers to accommodate their preference for working anytime, anywhere – and from any device that allows them to get the job done. Significantly, for those looking to attract and retain Millennial talent, a recent survey by Deloitte found that Millennials with flexible work arrangements reported a positive impact on job satisfaction and an increased interest in staying on with their current employer for the long term.
This flexibility might encompass any or all of the following areas:
- Choosing when to start and finish working for the day
- Choosing among different types of contracts, crowd-sourcing talent, etc.
- Choosing what tasks and responsibilities to take on
- Choosing to work from the office, from home, or from another location
- Choosing the endpoint devices and applications with which they work
While some have referred to Millennials as the “entitled” generation, this preference for flexible work arrangements indicates the always-on nature of this demographic. In fact, the ability to log into work from whichever device is at hand, at any time, and from any location, leads many Millennials to report that they never actually “leave” work.
How Millennials’ Expectations Impact Enterprise Technology Decisions
Today's businesses must adopt technology that supports the flexible work options their employees demand and expect. Whatever solution they choose needs to allow their employees to work from any device, any location, and at any time – with the same user experience they would have from a desktop machine in the office. Companies must also ensure that policies and technology are in place to meet the growing security implications that this degree of flexibility requires.
In order to achieve this combination of flexibility and security, organizations are increasingly adopting a variety of remote access solutions with built-in security and management capabilities. These solutions enable users to securely access work-related data and applications from any device, including their home PC, Mac, Linux laptop, iPad, Android or other mobile device, without transferring data and apps off company servers. At the same time, central management and monitoring layers and granular access privileges allow the business to secure and monitor this access. Organizations can rest easy knowing their employees are accessing data through a secure framework, while employees get to enjoy the flexible work arrangements that most Millennials have come to expect.
A Win-Win Scenario
Why do employers and leaders exert so much effort to design mobile workplaces with flexible work arrangements? It’s simple. When Millennials are satisfied with their workplace, they put in significantly higher levels of discretionary effort. Creating the optimal employee experience generates emotional commitment, and when employees feel committed to their jobs, they go above and beyond in fulfilling their responsibilities. A happy workforce is a productive workforce, and a productive workforce can be measured in an improved bottom line.