Remember when you were a teenager and you thought you knew better than your parents about so many things in life? In reality, you had a lot to learn. Millennials are like the teenagers of our modern work environment, as far as experience goes. But they might have better answers to some longstanding business problems. In many ways, their fresh perspective on business practices can raise the bar on productivity.
It’s no surprise they tend to approach work and life so differently – they did grow up on a steady diet of technology like no generation before them. They are bringing that experience to a traditional collaborative process that we all know, but don’t necessarily love – meetings. Everyone can admit that meetings can sometimes be boring, too long, or unproductive. So here are a few reasons why it might be advantageous to consider how millennials have reimagined the traditional version of this collaborative process.
Millennials want meetings to have a purpose.
If you ask most millennials, they will tell you that if there’s no specific purpose and meaning for the gathering, then don’t hold it. Any generation can agree with this thinking. Companies don’t have to plan weekly brainstorming sessions or project updates if there’s nothing to report. Instead, these ideas can be shared in person individually.
But this generation isn’t totally “anti-meeting, digital message only”. According to a Bentley University survey, 51% of millennials said they would prefer to deliver messages to coworkers face-to-face. Millennials said they like email and instant messaging too, but those were a distant second and third. The lesson here is to really maximize the use of a meeting. It should be where you get vitally important things done. Minimize the meeting agenda to only those items that need to be addressed as a group. Additionally, nominate someone who can keep the meeting focused and moving toward a rapid end.
Millennials want more convenience in the workday.
Millennials in this flexible gig economy are not used to the typical 9-to-5 spent working at their desk in an office every day. They’re actively looking for roles with remote work opportunities, or they’re setting up shop in a shared workspace or a home office and taking on a few side hustles into one career. Today it’s much easier to not only hold a meeting from anywhere, but also collaborate on projects or send quick messages from any place or device. On-site conference room meetings are no longer be as necessary as they once were.
This trend shows some real benefits to workers, whether they’re millennials or not. LogMeIn has conducted a number of research studies over the last few years that prove workers are actually more productive when working from home. There are often less distractions (coworkers, office chatter, competing meetings) and the freedom to multi-task, or have a more flexible schedule leaves workers feeling more balanced and happy. Plus, a change of scenery and a break from routine has been proven to boost everyone’s productivity.
Millennials want to save time.
I’ll come right out and say it – Millennials can be impatient. They are used to getting everything immediately at the tap of a button on their phone. So they have the same attitude toward work and meetings. They want to get the most from a limited amount of time at the office, and they’re not afraid to search for new technologies to speed things up. That might mean finding a new software that smooths out a painstaking process, or leaning on AI to do part of their workload for them (like taking notes!). A recent survey found 33 percent of millennials claim they “know a lot” about AI – that’s five times more than their baby-boomer counterparts.
This constant push for new technology to save time and create shortcuts is changing the workplace rapidly, for the better. Leading companies are innovating at a faster pace than ever before, especially in the collaboration space. The more we can lean on technology to reduce friction, save time, or do mundane tasks for us, the more time we have to be more productive, to brainstorm, to sell, to innovate – do what humans do best!