Many of us have become accustomed to a “life sucking” schedule of work. It has become a standard across U.S. businesses. The landscape is changing to make way for the millennial generation that will make up the majority of the workforce in the not so distant future.
Older generations are much less entitled than the “up and coming” ones. Whether you were a coal miner or a banker, a 12-hour workday was normal. Coming home exhausted only to eat and rest. When the morning light came streaming in, you get up and do it again. I am happy to say that forecasts suggest this will not be the norm for the millennial generation and the ones that follow them. American businesses are changing from “drive you into the ground” to “let’s see if we can keep you around”.
We operate a web design business here in Phoenix. We have always had a very flexible schedule and a strong work life balance. Being that most of our work is conducted online, we are free to perform most tasks when we have time rather than being under the gun. Companies like ours are realizing that this is what most people want. The younger generations demand more freedom and a stronger work-life balance.
Web design, SEO and online marketing are perfect industry jobs to be in for a healthy balance. Many jobs, across every industry, require just online access and phone access.
Working from home has become more popular than ever. Many businesses now require that you be available during business hours by phone and email. Why waste time and fuel driving to an office just to use their Internet access and phone system? Most business professionals have access to these at their home. I have had the luxury of several positions in my life that just required me to attend a weekly meeting in person, other than that, I was on my own. This trend is especially popular among sales professionals. Just hit your quota and everyone will leave you alone.
Sure, working from home requires some discipline. It is important to avoid distractions and focus on your job. I have heard many people say over the years “ I couldn’t work from home, I would be cleaning or watching TV all day”.
We have an office here in Phoenix to meet clients and run our web design business. However, we do not demand attendance there everyday. This sort of luxury is the kind of work that makes people happy. They have the freedom and the option to utilize whatever workspace they prefer. We have a weekly team meeting that keeps our directives in order and everyone knows what is expected of them. Outside of that, they may want to do their work from a table at Starbucks.
Companies all across the country are embracing this sort of mentality. They are working harder to accommodate the personal needs of their employees in order to ensure their happiness and longevity at the company.
Employers are also making changes in their structure such as allowing their employees to choose which projects they work on. They allow longer paid vacation time. The old standard of 1-5 ratings for performance is going away because millennial employees don’t like 3’s. Annual reviews are being replaced by monthly and quarterly reviews to provide more frequent positive reinforcement. When an employee does log long hours of work, some employers are giving them an option of overtime pay or comp days off.
The idea behind all of this is to recognize the talent of each individual and put it to its best use. It also allows the employee to take pride and find meaning in his or her own work. Businesses that adapt to this sort of mentality will force the rest to follow suit. Some will become magnets for the careers of the younger generations. It will encourage competition over these young employees and the landscape will continue to change.
Our Phoenix based web design business has always been on the front lines of new and exciting. Our business relies heavily on the millennial workforce who was raised with laptops and operating systems. Recognizing the need to cater to this generation is important for the longevity of your company. Creating a fun and free work environment that commends the talents of your employees is the way of the future.
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