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Collaboration in a Millennial Workplace

‘Millennials’ basically refers to those individuals who fall in the age group of 22-37 years. They are typically identified as people with higher levels of education as compared to those belonging to the earlier generations. So what drives this millennial generation? What are its major goals? Well, research suggests that millennials are constantly working towards the greater good of the society that they live in. They are seeking to establish businesses that emphasize more on “human beings” and “purpose”. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the millennial generation is inclined towards collaborative work and team-based projects.

Research suggests that millennials prefer work environments that don’t have a very structured flow. Spontaneity and change are what drives these young and energetic leaders, workers and employers.

Here are some interesting statistics on Millennials reported in Forbes:

  • 64 percent of millennials claim that working towards the betterment of the world is a priority for them.
  • 88 percent would like to work in a collaborative work environment instead of a competitive workspace.
  • 72 percent would prefer working independently, i.e. without a boss overseeing them. Also, if working under a boss or an authority figure, 79 percent would like a boss to behave like a mentor or coach.
  • 88 percent of the millennials seek ‘work-life integration’, different from work-life balance.
  • 74 percent desire flexible/changeable work schedules that can allow them to work anytime and from anywhere in the city/country/world.

What is Collaboration at Workplace: The Millennials Perspective

Millennials are essentially seeking a flowing, open atmosphere where they can share new ideas and creative strategies with each other. They feel more comfortable in such environments as they get an opportunity to work together and develop innovative concepts, strategies, and techniques that not only help businesses but also support their personal growth and development. The millennials are actually the first generation that has grown in a fully connected world. It is natural for them to choose quicker, effective and more casual working approaches as compared to the earlier generations.

Even though the idea of collaborative workspaces isn’t very new, it has evolved dramatically over the last few years. Gone are the days of whiteboards, flipcharts and post-it notes. The millennial generation is proudly bringing in Skype, SMART boards, social media and other such technology for collaborative brainstorming.

Modern office spaces are being designed in a way that promotes collaboration too. Both SMBs and large corporate firms are making changes in the ways in which employees collaborate and communicate on a daily basis. No longer can one assume that if employees are put together in a workplace, creativity will definitely ensue. In the modern day workplace, collaboration has a much deeper meaning.

According to a recent study, a collaboration-driven workplace culture is among the top things that millennials are seeking in potential employers. The new working generation wants to make use of technology for establishing more deep and globalized connections with their colleagues and clients all over the world. 

There are numerous innovative businesses that have already managed to integrate known external communication channels into the daily work routine. At the same time, an increasing number of leading firms are seeking secure, internal platforms for sharing information.

How Companies Can Support Collaboration

As far as business is concerned, millennials are all for online meeting apps, chat and texting for collaboration and communication. They prefer online data management solutions as this allows them to access important documents anytime and from any part of the world. Also, millennials are highly savvy when it comes to using smartphones and other smart devices. Therefore, all collaboration and communication tools need to be mobile-friendly.

Research suggests that Millennials are always on the lookout for collaboration applications which are user-friendly and also guarantee flexible communication. They could be modeled on the communication designed for personal use. Teamwork has been an inherent part of the growing up of this generation and this gets carried forward into their business/workplace as well. Millennials are of the firm belief that good teamwork is capable of creating a dynamic collaborative environment. Therefore, tools that support teamwork are highly sought-after by this generation.

Several companies are now accepting the need to implement a unified collaboration and communication solution. It may be possible to implement these solutions in the cloud, on the workplace premises or in a “hybrid” combination. Companies can also opt for cloud-based solutions, especially those with poor IT resources and very mobile workforces.

The Millennial generation believes that an efficient team works towards the ideal balance: openness to new experiences, people, and ideas, combined with an awareness that each individual comes with their own set of values, experiences, beliefs, and limitations.

Millennials are of the opinion that trust and empathy are the main driving forces behind finding a balance. Another important factor is the willingness to have free communication in the workplace. According to millennials, team building is a way of growing and broadening the perspectives of all employees. It also helps foster an environment of innovation and creativity.

To put it simply, millennials consider collaboration to be the basis of a successful business venture. At an individual level, collaboration helps promote social satisfaction and personal happiness.

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