Whether you like it or not, millennials are taking over the workplace! It is estimated that by 2020, they will make up the majority and take over many leadership positions, so the workplace as we know it will become a thing of the past. If you are reading this, there's a good chance that you are a millennial, so this is music to your ears.
As an older millennial, I remember the days of working in silos and sitting at a cluttered desk for 10-15 hours a day trying to look busy in an unproductive, hierarchical, "do-as-I-say" environment (sorry for the small rant). One of the reasons I decided to start BankMobile was to create an environment that was the opposite of what I was used to. Now that the changing of the guard is happening, there will be a big shift in what the workplace looks and feels like. The following are five ways that millennials are changing the workplace.
1. Work will be FUN!
In 1985, Cyndi Lauper came out with her smash hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Now, in 2017, it is no longer just girls who want to have fun, but a whole generation. Millennials want their work environment to not feel like a work environment. They know they are going to be spending many hours working on their respective projects, so FUN is a big part of what the workplace needs to be in order to attract and retain millennials.
2. Work will have a social mission.
Having fun is not the only thing that millennials want. They also want to make sure that the work they are doing is having a positive impact on the world in which they live. As a result, we can expect that most businesses will have a social mission attached to them when millennials are officially at the helm. No longer will working be only about making a profit, but rather it will be about profit while doing good and making the world a better place.
3. Work will be more like an entrepreneurial venture.
Gone will be the days that employees look at their work as something they are just doing to make ends meet. Because millennials want to have fun and do meaningful work, they will be fully invested in the work they do. Instead of having an environment where workers just follow orders and do what they are told, employees will be given the leeway to do their work as if they are running an entrepreneurial venture. This will likely cause employees to work for a single employer past the current average of two years. Once a millennial feels like they are in control of their growth, they feel little need to find opportunity elsewhere.
4. The typical workplace will disappear.
As millennials continue to care more about experiences and have a need for work/life balance, we will begin to see the disappearance of the traditional nine-to-five. Instead, you will see many instances where employees are given the option to work from home (or the beach) as long as they are getting their work done. You'll also see telecommuting become the norm, variable hours that fit employees' lifestyles, and companies adopting nontraditional workspaces.
5. Hierarchy will disappear.
Lastly, hierarchy as we know it will disappear. Millennials want mentors, not managers, so their bosses will be more like coaches instead of simply someone telling them what to do. They will help guide them and teach them how to maximize their full potential. Millennials want to feel supported and valued, so this new coach-style leadership will do well for employee retention.
All in all, many of the things that some from previous generations predict will happen to the workplace — such as high turnover, less productivity, and a false sense of entitlement — will probably not happen. When you really get to know millennials, you will realize that we are committed and dedicated to the things that meet our ideals.
So, cheers to a more fun, flexible, highly productive, socially driven, and entrepreneurial workplace that will allow employees to grow and maximize their full potential!
Luvleen Sidhu is the president, cofounder and chief strategy officer at BankMobile, the largest and fastest growing digital bank in the country helping the underbanked, millennials, and middle-income Americans have an affordable, effortless, and financially empowering banking experience.