Millennials. They will probably not ever remember a time when they couldn’t’t hold the universe of knowledge in the palms of their hands. They embrace diversity, they are tolerant, they follow their dreams. They text, they don’t email much, they own a ton of technology, and are unwilling to put up with anything they feel is unfair. They are confident, and they know they are special. While some might argue on this last point, and call them narcissistic or entitled, there is no denying they have changed the face of how businesses conduct themselves in the 21st century.
Even if you disagree, here are a few insights that might have you rethinking that sentiment …
They have changed how we work and where we work
Millennials are multitaskers. They don’t have time for stuff we have taken for granted, such as sitting in traffic for a long, useless commute. This has borne an entire generation of remote and freelance workers, as they would much prefer to work in a comfortable environment than waste their time on the freeway or on transit. The adoption of productivity applications, coworking and on-demand office spaces – that’s all down to millennials. There is definitely a trend towards working “smarter, not harder,” fueling a young workforce that is entrepreneurial, does not need to be micro-managed, and intent on getting things done quickly and efficiently.
They brought a “shop local” ideal to a wider audience
As a generation, millennials are much more ethically and environmentally conscious. They are more likely to buy from companies who uphold certain standards and who stand against human rights violations, who don’t test on animals, and who support their local community. The key word here is sustainability – making the most out of what they’ve got, sharing living and office spaces, living within walking or cycling distance from work, taking up less space, reducing their carbon footprint, and trending away from supporting the multi-nationals and big box stores, even if they can often get things cheaper there. It’s about farm-to-table dining, it’s about recycling, upcycling, and refurbishing instead of contributing to the landfills. What we’ve learned from this is that it’s more important to take care of things in your own backyard, and that’s maybe a lesson we all needed to learn.
They have spawned a new generation of entrepreneurs
While many millennials have degrees, they are finding their skills are not as marketable to the conventional/corporate job world as they would have hoped. Additionally, they are not willing to be stuck in a dead-end job that has no chance at advancement, or gives them no opportunity to be creative and provide contribution. They want to be involved, they want to be a part of things – so many have opted for entrepreneurship, or have started a business as a freelancer. This has many positive implications in terms of innovation, as new ideas are being brought to market by millennials every single day.
They have raised the bar on our tech imprint
Whether your company sells widgets, computers, or women’s shoes, it is expected that your website, your online presence, and your social media be accessible, responsive, and current. Having these bases covered allows you a place on stage alongside even your biggest competitors, while the opposite can relegate you to oblivion very quickly. Like it or not, we have all adopted a millennial mentality when it comes to media: if the website is slow to load, difficult to navigate, or if your customer service doesn’t respond in a timely manner, you’re dead in the water. Which brings us to the next point …
They have changed the way we view customer service and brand image
The combination of technology, and the immediacy of response (on social media especially) has led to a new reality where it comes to customer service. Ratings, reviews, for better or worse, are here to stay. Being able to respond in praise or outrage when something goes horribly wrong is now our right, and it has definitely changed the way many companies conduct business.
Millennials have a lot to teach us in terms of business. We’ve learned how to make lemonade from a pile of sour lemons, and they’ve let us know that being part of a huge corporation is not the key to success. They’ve taught us to be more aware of what we buy and who we buy it from, and to value our customers above all – because, ultimately, they are the ones who carry our message.
My Annapolis Office: flexible office space for the way you work
If you live or work in the Annapolis area, drop by My Annapolis Office for a visit. We offer flexible office space, coworking space, virtual office solutions and fully equipped meeting rooms to help you on your journey to success.