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Millennial Monday: Flexibility in the Workplace

Posted by Greg Rachke on June 24, 2013


It’s Monday folks, and if you’re anything like me... or this cat, that means your drinking twice as much coffee to stay focused. It’s times like these that employees tend to drift off and imagine a perfect world where employees make their own hours. I know what you’re thinking; the world will end before I let that happen. Right? Well, this week’s millennial Monday focuses on the benefits of a flexible workplace and how it can help your firm appeal to younger generations.

millennials and flexibilityBefore we delve deeper into the subject, it’s important to understand what we’re talking about when we say, “Flexible Work.” Some companies give greater freedom to their employees when it comes to working hours / location of work. In other words, they are less interested in where employees are getting their work done as opposed to whether they are getting their work done. Whether you’re one of these employers or not, you should know how flexibility can impact your workplace.

Balancing Work and Play

Sharlyn Lauby wrote an article detailing the benefits of a flexible workplace. In the article, she states, “It’s easier for employees to manage their personal and professional lives when they have some degree of flexibility in how, when or where they work.”

Lauby’s statement characterizes generation Y (aka myself) perfectly. We’ve grown up with the time management skills that allows us to balance both work and play effectively. At the same time, our schedules don’t all match up and sometimes, that means working on the go.

As millennials enter the workplace, they are adjusting to your work schedule. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s definitely something to consider looking at if you want to attract millennials to your company.

Generation Y is considered selfish, lazy, and self-centered (We’re not that bad, I promise!). So keep that in mind when you’re structuring your policies. If you allow your employees some flexibility (as they have grown up with), they will be comfortable taking on the responsibility. Eventually, this will lead to happier employees and a more upbeat workplace.

Consider the Results

At the end of the day, the results are all that matter. The biggest risk that you are taking on by giving your employees a flexible work schedule is the chance that they don’t get their work done. However, if they value their job, and their company, they will make the time to get their work done (just as they have their entire lives).

millennials working from home Take the time at the beginning of each quarter to lay out  clear, concise goals with your employees before  implementing the strategy. Millennials, just as generation X,  have grown up with attainable goals under reasonable  deadlines. By providing these deadlines at the beginning of  the quarter (or year), you are easing the battle between  personal and professional. Your employees, especially the  millennials, will love you for it.

It’s important to know that only five percent of employers today offer flexible work to their employees according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Obviously, as the culture difference between generation X and Y shows, that statistic may change in the future. 

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