Why Millennials Aren't Disrupting The Workplace - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // Team Building & Staffing
Commentary
11/21/2014
09:06 AM
Charles Galda
Charles Galda
Commentary

Why Millennials Aren't Disrupting The Workplace

The millennial generation won't turn your office on its head, but it will complement the technologies already in place.

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asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
11/29/2014 | 1:07:41 PM
More power to them Millennials
The Millennials at this point seem to be a bit more altruistic than the Boomer generation whose numbers they have exceeded.  Hopefully, under their watch, society sees change for the common good instead of the monied, elite few.  And since Generation X has always been the redheaded, bastard, stepchild that has always been completely forgotten by the media, overshadowed by the attention whoring Boomers, allow me to mention it here now.  We do, in fact, exist.  We just don't have the requisite numbers to be considered important enough to even acknowledge. 
pfretty
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pfretty,
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2014 | 11:33:54 AM
Helping it evolve
If anything the next generation is helping with the digital evolution. How organizations move forward with the convergence between mobile, big data and cloud will speak volumes in how well they have been able to integrate the millennials into the fiber. A recent IDG SAS survey showed that far too many organizations lack effectiveness at key big data tasks. Having more digital thinking professionals in the fold could help. 

 

Peter Fretty, IDG blogger working on behalf of SAS
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
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11/25/2014 | 7:34:25 AM
Re: Balanced viewpoint
I'm not seeing that group out there.  I think maybe if you can find some knowledge workers in their 60s you might get a few that don't feel much need for a mobile device aside from making calls.  I'd say that if anything that 40-50 age range is more dependent on a mobile device than even the millennials.  To the 40-50 segment this is a tool that changed their lives not one that they grew up with.  They see it as a way to get more done where the millennials see it as just another tool.  There are a few things that I wish the millennials would bring into the office but technical savvy isn't on that list because from what I see most of them come from the consumer side and have difficulty shifting to an attitude that serves others with technology.
zerox203
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zerox203,
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11/25/2014 | 12:35:46 AM
Re: Why Millenials Aren't Disrupting The Workplace
I see what you're saying here, Charles. I think people have a tendency to conflate the influence of millenial technology with millenials themselves. What previous generations lived through - the original advent of the internet, the civil rights movement, and more - is nothing to sneeze at, but in a purely business sense, mobile alone is hard to argue with as the most major game changer in a long time. Once again though, millenials are not the ones who designed these technologies - as Sunita points outs out, that honor belongs to professionals who were long since seasoned when millenials were born.

I think the theory about the change being abrubt and not dynamic comes from the idea that current business practices are plain incompatible with the way millenials want to work. It makes sense - a no-BYOD policy is not compatible with a BYOD-policy, for example. Those policies are the ones that will fade away as time goes on, but you're right, Charles - other ones will blend together and evolve. A smoother workflow (think DevOps) is good for everyone - but there are some important compromises to be made before we can apply that to every area of the business.

 
BillB031
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BillB031,
User Rank: Moderator
11/23/2014 | 9:30:49 AM
And on and on
Funny how this argument young vs old in the workplace has been going on for the last 100 years. It just morphs from one technology to another. My 80 yr old Mother can't understand how the country can survive without a paper phone book
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2014 | 7:16:07 PM
Re: Balanced viewpoint
I'm at the young end of that group. I would say that if knowledge workers don't see the advantages or needs of a mobile platform as part of their strategy, they've bigger problems that being a bit out-of-touch. You can believe that you'd never find use in a mobile delivery method, but still be intelligent enough to know that the overall strategy needs to include that. Even older knowledge workers need to realize that there is a vision that extends beyond their personal comfort level.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
11/21/2014 | 6:14:24 PM
Re: Balanced viewpoint
Are there really loads of 40- and 50-something year old knowledge workers out there who aren't hip to smartphones, and who doubt the need to build for the mobile platform? Appreciate the perspective here. 
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2014 | 2:30:46 PM
Re: Balanced viewpoint
Populating the vast majority of your workforce with only millenials is just a myopic in the long-run as never hiring someone from that age group. This is an area where companies make short-signed decisions on both ends of the age diversity spectrum.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2014 | 2:15:53 PM
Re: Balanced viewpoint
The balanced idea is necessary, however some giants of companies want less aged and overly abled software engineers and one of those companies is Facebook. I hope such standards would change so that there can be equal workforce balance.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2014 | 2:05:25 PM
Difference
There's a difference between being born and brought up into a tech-savvy world and witnessing the technological change. Millenials may be more tech-savvy, ofcourse they know how to play the xbox, how to handle an android, they know the difference between android, iOS and blackberry OS, but is that really necessary? Being tech-savvy and being technically up to date are two different things, and while the middle aged coding specialists can't win the tech-savvy race, their expertise is more than necessary in the world.
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