How to get workplace collaboration ready for the millennial workforce

Debby Kappetijn

Debby Kappetijn

Jul 11, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Millennials are rapidly taking over the workplace. Generation Y already comprises the majority of the workforce. Yet, only 65% of Dutch IT leaders consider young people as beneficial to the organization. It’s time for the veterans to stop looking at this generation as eager beavers that should be tamed, but to take these employees of the future seriously. To keep up with the changing workforce, organizations should already start to adjust to new ways of working. Millennials are digital natives who grew up with laptops, smartphones, social media and apps. Naturally, they take this digital technology to the workplace. To attract and engage young talent, organizations should cater to their digital needs and habits. In this blog, I will tell you how to get your workplace ready for these youngsters by providing them with great UC and collaboration tools.



Understanding the digital workforce

To adapt your organization’s IT to the digital workforce, you first need to understand this new generation of tech-savvy employees. They grew up with laptops, mobile phones, e-mail and text messaging and have now widely adopted smartphones, tablets, apps and video. Bringing this technology to the workplace, they want to be able to work as they want, when they want, where they want and using the technologies of their choice. Mobility and flexibility are essential in these demands. Fuze conducted a survey among 900 IT leaders, 6,600 workers and 3,300 teenagers that showed some impressive results:

  • 93% of millennials consider modern and up-to-date technology as one of the most important aspects of a workplace;
  • 70% of workers would like to be more mobile at work;
  • 88% of the people use smartphones in their daily work activities;
  • The use of fax, desk phones and desktop computers in the office is declining, the laptop and smartphone are on the rise;
  • 83% of workers believe they don’t need an office to be productive;
  • In fact, 43% thinks they are more productive working at home.

Implications for communication and collaboration

With the growing demand for mobility and flexibility in the workplace, communication and collaboration become key focus points for IT. Employees want to be productive from any location and with any device. This asks for great collaboration tools and new communications platforms. However, most businesses still have a long way to go when it comes to implementing this. The majority of employees are not satisfied with the technology provided by work. Either there’s a lack of modern tools, or the company uses a big jumble of tools that is difficult to manage. Moreover, collaboration and UC solutions should benefit both millennials and older employees.

So what are the key elements for collaboration and communication solutions that support the digital workforce? Here are some things you’ll need to consider:

  • Millennials prefer instant messaging and online meetings over phone and email;
  • For your employees to be able to access and edit document anytime and anywhere, a cloud-based solution is best suitable;
  • Tools should be mobile-friendly to support smartphone usage;
  • Collaboration tools should be easy to use and allow for flexible and multiple types of communication;
  • Online meetings have to be just as personal as face-to-face communication, therefore support of video is crucial.

 

Get your workplace collaboration ready

The rise of the digital workforce does create some real challenges for IT leaders. They must balance the demands of millennials with those of more experienced workers and create an IT infrastructure that meets operational, budgetary and user needs. To get your workplace collaboration and communication ready for the future generation of employees, you have to have a solid strategy:

  • You have to have a thorough understanding of the (future) workforce to make well-considered decisions that support future work trends. Analyze the needs and wants of your employees and the business in general.
  • Adjust applications to shape the way people work. Reduce complexity and create great user experiences.
  • Adopt a cloud-based all-in-one solution that supports different ways of communication and collaboration.

You should realize there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to digital communication, and that employees favor multiple tools, using different apps or software depending on the type of communication. It’s up to you to create the perfect mix of tools that increases productivity and encourages employee engagement. The only way to get your workplace collaboration ready for the millennial workforce is by involving these digital natives in the process itself. Wondering how to do that? In our white paper ‘Mind the gap, focus on the user’ we will tell you all about it.

Whitepaper collaboration consultancy

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