This week we will be launching a series of articles pertaining to the millennial generation and their role in the workplace. Our first article focuses on how heavily entrenched millennials are in technology and digital/social media. Future articles will discuss topics ranging from diversity among millennials to their outlook on personal finance.
Millennials and Technology: Unlocking Their Future
By Mary McCambridge
In comparison to earlier generations, technology is the largest distinguishing factor among millennials. Millennials have been brought up in the age of mobile devices and high speed internet. It is a generation of 24/7 connectivity. Millennials use technology for everything. Literally, everything. Ordering food, hiring nannies, finding a parking spot, filing their taxes, dating, etc. A surplus of information is readily accessible at the touch of a finger.
Interestingly enough, the Huffington Post found that this connectivity is responsible for pushing millennials out of traditional office space and into remote work. Millennials are comfortable and often prefer working online. If the workplace wants to compete with this movement they will need to “enable 24/7 access to corporate programs on all devices, both inside and outside of the office.”
Millennials have been taught to adjust their lifestyles to utilize technology that makes things more convenient, whatever the latest invention may be. They often adopt the mindset that any technological advancement will benefit them and will rarely have a negative impact. They are conditioned to accept and embrace any new innovation they are presented with.
When looking for a source of breaking news, millennials are turning to their Twitter and Facebook as a means of information and discarding print and television news. According to Cyber Alert, 68% of millennials claim that they rely on social media as their main news source. In fact, the American Press Institute found that 47% of millennials using Facebook say that getting the news is their main motivation for visiting.
The increase in social media usage in the personal life of millennials has created the ideal group of employees for any company developing an online presence. Millennials come to the workplace with experience and understanding of social media mechanics, and are often ready to immediately contribute to the digital brand building and image of any organization. More and more millennials are working independently, often serving as tech contractors to multiple organizations simultaneously. This could ultimately prove to be beneficial to private organizations and independent millennials alike, as McKinsey recently reported the increasing use of online “contingent talent” could add $2.7 trillion to global GDP.
The Wall Street Journal reported that this is the first generation to also have tech savvy parents. Mobile communication is the main form of correspondence among the millennial generation and it makes sense that those around them would adopt the same means. This progressive movement is referred to by many as the “millennial effect.”
You may be asking yourself, who is responsible for the development of the innovations that we cannot break apart from? You guessed it, millennials. According to LinkedIn, the degrees most likely to be held by a millennial are: information science and technology, computer science, electronics, international business and computer engineering. Millennials want to keep their world moving in a direction of accessibility. What else could possibly be created? Pose this question to a millennial and their list will never end. They are a generation of digital natives whose expectations for innovation and convenience has only just begun.