3 Common Workplace Habits Millennials and Gen Z Will Eliminate

04. January 2021

The arrival of the next generation in our working world is in full swing. By 2025, Millennials will account for three quarters of the global workforce. At the same time, Gen Z, the first generation to never know a world without the internet, will soon enter the labour market.

This will have a lasting effect on the way we work and communicate with each other. Above all, you will have to bid farewell to some of the habits you’ve cultivated over many years. But before we talk about the major changes, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that define these two younger generations.

  • Millennials: Those born between 1980 and the late nineties are called Millennials or Generation Y. According to Goldman Sachs, this is one of the largest generations ever, about three times the size of its predecessor Generation X.
  • Gen Z: Those born between the late nineties and today are called Generation Z, or Gen Z for short. Experts consider Gen Z to be less homogenous than the previous generation. It is characterised by an individual lifestyle heavily shaped by technology.

While the majority of Gen Z is still at the very beginning of their professional careers, most Millennials are already an integral part of our working world. Many positive changes are already emerging, from which you and indeed all of us can reap the benefits.

1. Conventional Office Workplaces Give Way to Flexible Working Models

Millennials and Gen Z love the idea of freedom at work. Whereas others may be motivated by classic career models or the prospect of a high salary, having meaningful work is the number 1 motivation factor for these younger generations. Work is not an end in itself – it must have a deeper meaning, be fulfilling and enable you to achieve tangible goals.

To reach this goal, the place of work is irrelevant. Younger generations see traditional office workplaces with a presence culture and rigid hierarchies as more of an obstacle to productive work. By contrast, the importance of flexible working models is increasing: the content of the activity is detached from space and time.

Thanks to digital communication solutions, it has never been easier to respond to this growing need for mobility and flexibility. Modern executives are guided by this desire of Millennials and Gen Z and consequently are using cloud-based communication solutions that enable employees to organize themselves: They decide where and when they are most productive.

Working in the home office or on the go is a real productivity gain if your working day is well organised and you have a high level of discipline. Check out some great tips for home office fans in this blog post.

2. Email Loses Its Position as Most Frequent Means of Communication

It is so simple and has unfortunately become a bad habit in the workplace: What do you do with an annoying problem that simply cannot be solved? Correct, just send it by email to the largest possible mailing list and the problem is no longer yours.

Email has become the most frequently used means of communication in the workplace, but the throne is shaking. About three quarters of the daily flood of emails are irrelevant to you and your colleagues. Email is a real productivity killer and is therefore diametrically opposed to the goals of Millennials and Gen Z.

The way to enjoy productive communication is to have numerous means of communication available.

  • For confidential conversations, voice is the best option.
  • Chat is ideal if you want to have a quick decision on a specific matter.
  • When having a group discussion, then a video call can be the most effective choice.

Millennials and Gen Z are familiar with all digital tools and older generations can learn and benefit from them.

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3. Digital Hype Evolves to Digital Pragmatism

New technology is usually accompanied by a great wave of enthusiasm. The digitalisation of many areas of our working world undoubtedly helps us to be more productive and gain a new sense of freedom – we have the opportunity to communicate the way we want.

However, enthusiasm can turn into hype that does not give you a realistic view of the possibilities and limits of digital transformation. IT analysts at Gartner talk about a hype cycle in which new technologies move along a curve ranging from exaggerated expectations and the valley of tears to productive everyday use.

Of all people, it is the digital natives that are now leading us to a position where we can sensibly handle digital possibilities. You might think that Millennials and Gen Z prefer to communicate through digital channels such as instant messaging and social media, yet research does not validate this assumption.

On the contrary, young employees think in a rather differentiated way about when they choose which means of communication and for what purpose. For Gen Z, face-to-face communication remains popular. Here, however, the golden rule is to have the right mix of different means of communication, because each human interaction is individual!

It is not only the arrival of new generations that is leading to change in the working world. The digitalisation of communication is also leading to new working models. Our eBook is a valuable guide to help you with the digital transformation of your workplace. Download it for free here!