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Workplace Technology: How Millennials Want to Get the Job Done

3 Jun 2016 by Susie Steckner

Workplace technology is changing how we work like never before.

We work in the office, but also at home and on the road. We rely on our mobile devices to meet the same needs as our desktop computers and laptops. We want simplified communication and collaboration. It’s workplace technology trends like these that represent the next evolution of business.

Every day, we expect a seamless work experience. And we’re not looking back. According to an HR in Asia report, a staggering 82% of millennials are influenced by the available workplace technology solutions an employer could offer when deciding whether or not to accept a job offer.

Millennial working in an office

Unsurprisingly, tech-savvy — and highly in-demand — millennials are driving this sea of change. Businesses that are embracing this transformation will reap the greatest rewards: new levels of productivity, increasing innovation, employee retention and the opportunity to attract new talent.

On the flipside, businesses that don’t will be left behind.

“This is finally how we expect to get work done,” says Rich Nockels, Intel Marketing Manager. “We want wireless, mobile, performance, cool form factors, easy communication, security we don’t have to worry about. This is taking complexity out of work.”

Millennial generation

Millennials number roughly 75 million today. They have grabbed the top spot as the nation’s largest living and working generation, surpassing Baby Boomers, the latest population estimates show. Currently, millennials are also the largest contributors to the workforce, according to recent estimates that were conducted by Pew Research

pew research chart of millennials in the workforce

Note: Labor force refers to those working and lookign for work. Millennials refers to labor force participants ages 18 to 34 in 2015. Gen X refers to the labor force participants ages 35 to 50 in 2015. Based on quarter averages.

Source: Pew Research Center tabulations of monthly 2014 an 2015 Current Population Surveys, Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)

Pew Research Center

By 2020, Millennials will make up 50% of the global workforce. And their expectations in the workplace are markedly different than other generations.

What they want — They expect flexibility on the job, the chance to climb the ladder quickly, the opportunity to keep learning and the encouragement to innovate alongside of new technology in workplace that can keep up with it all. They aren’t afraid to walk away from the job if these expectations aren’t being met, either.

What they don’t want — Millennials are turned off by unbending corporate structures and information silos. They don’t want to be tied to a desk. And they won’t tolerate poor enterprise tech.

So is it any surprise that we’re experiencing a transformation in the workforce?

A changing workplace

As more and more businesses evolve to meet the new demands of the workplace, some trends are undeniably clear. A joint study by Intel and Dell reveals just how much technologies in workplace are changing the way employees expect to work.

Benefits of technology in workplace

Multiple devices — Employees are using multiple devices to get their jobs done, but 2-in-1 adoption is growing. Performance matters most. More than 80% say performance is among the top priorities.

More mobility — The work week typically looks something like this for employees: 29 hours in the office, five hours working from home, four hours working at an external location (such as a client’s office), and two hours working in public places. This type of work schedule helps us understand why mobile technology in workplace is a must-have during the modern era. Goodbye stodgy cubes, hello digital workplace.

Latest and greatest — Employees are expecting the newest workplace tech. In fact, one quarter of all employees globally could be lured away based on the tech being offered by a competitor. The same goes for managers, who say the best tech will keep them at the organization.

Productivity gains — There’s no doubt about it: Tech influences productivity. Nearly 50% of Millennials say tech has increased their productivity and has enabled them to communicate more efficiently.

On the horizon — Employees predict a bright tech future, with a broad range of changes: voice recognition will replace the keyboard (92%); tablets will completely replace laptops (87%); all computers will use hand gestures (87%).

Digital world

In today’s workplace, it’s easy to see that millennials’ use of technology sets them apart.

“One of the defining characteristics of the millennial generation is their affinity with the digital world,” explains the Millennials at work study. “They have grown up with broadband, smartphones, laptops and social media being the norm and expect instant access to information. This is the first generation to enter the workplace with a better grasp of a key business tool than more senior workers. Millennials expect the technologies that empower their personal lives to also drive communication and innovation in the workplace.”

Work smarter

Nockels of Intel sees three key trends in the changing workplace.

  1. Form and function — We have a much greater choice of form factors, with a wide variety of microprocessors, to meet every need. The goal in the workplace: Give end users the performance they want. One employee may want thin, light and fan-less. Another may need mobility but with a larger screen. And, still, yet another may need to work on the go with plenty of mobile computing power.
  2. Easier collaboration — Connected meetings are vital in today’s business world. Businesses are equipping meeting spaces with a mini PC featuring the Intel Core vPro processor technology and Intel Unite software to power secure, connected meeting spaces. After a one-time software install, colleagues are instantly connected. Fumbling with cables and dongles becomes a thing of the past.
  3. Wireless docking — We want to be wire-free at the workstation. In an ideal work world, employees arrive at their desks or workspaces and wirelessly pair all their peripherals. If they are mobile during the day, they can easily return to their workspace and quickly sync up everything.

Employees, particularly millennials, expect a seamless experience in the workplace today, Nockels explains: “This transformation was long overdue and from the millennial perspective, it can’t stop here. This should kick off a continuous transformation.”

As an Intel Technology Provider Platinum partner for more than 10 years, Insight has served clients in all industries, delivering massive networking mobility and technical solutions. Even so, you may not be sure which Intel-powered device would fit your business best. Our Battle Pack helps you make an informed technology purchase by letting you test-drive different Intel-powered devices first. Order your kit and receive a variety of desktops, notebooks, tablets or 2-in-1s. Contact an Intel specialist for help or with questions today by calling: 1-800-INSIGHT.