Any follower of this blog doesn’t need to be told that millennials have made a huge impact on society in a multitude of ways. We are “killing” and changing industries left and right, and we should be proud of all of these accomplishments. We are an important generation with a lot of influence, and one of the most important areas we have had positive impact on is the working world.
Our generation has come to the collective conclusion that a work-life balance is something that we value, and that seems to go against the “work yourself to death” mindset of previous generations. Of course, now we know that chronic stress from working too much is bad for our physical and mental health, and having a good work-life balance is vital to our overall wellbeing.
Because of our influence and our desire for quality of life at home and at work, we have helped shaped new trends in the company culture and benefits that businesses offer their employees. Here are just some of positive changes that have been implemented in many companies in recent years:
Flex and Remote Work
Being that the currently accepted standard hours for a workweek is 40 hours in the U.S., it’s easy to get burned out and feel trapped in your job — especially when you’re set go to an office at the same time every day. One of the ways many companies are working to bring more work-life balance to their employees in this respect is to allow flex and remote work.
Flex and remote work allow employees a little more freedom with their schedule and the ability to make their job work around their life, rather than the other way around. Having the option to work from home, even if for a set number of hours a week, can give a sick employee the option to work from home or make up the time later in the week, rather than miss hours due to illness. It also allows employees to go to their kids’ school events, plan around a vacation, and just work their day around their needs. It also makes employees feel trusted, which can actually lead to more productive employees.
Part of a good work-life balance is feeling good about where you work. Millennials want to work for a company that they feel connected to and that they can stand behind. Company culture includes both activities and vibe inside the company, and service and philanthropy in the community. Getting involved with fellow coworkers outside of an office/work capacity is sure to help foster engagement and bring employees together.
Some of the ways businesses are working on implementing and improving their company culture is by going to the employees themselves. Culture teams and boards meet together to brainstorm ways to get the company more involved. Activities planned might include company picnics, hikes, and team-building outings, as well as volunteering at local nonprofits and participating in community fundraising opportunities.
With millennials being the most educated generation to date, a college degree and the hard skills that come from earning one are a dime a dozen; it’s no longer a best business practice to hire employees based solely on these things. Hiring HRs are starting to really look at the soft skills that show that potential employees can work well on a team and demonstrate emotional intelligence.
The University of Maryland defines emotional intelligence as the “skills used to understand and manage emotions effectively.” Employees who have emotional intelligence are able to remain calm under pressure, resolve conflict thoughtfully, are empathetic with their coworkers, and put more consideration into work-related decisions. Companies putting more emphasis on their employees having emotional intelligence makes for a more productive and civil working environment, and with millennials being so in-tune with their emotions, this skill is one they value having in their company and coworkers.
Millennials, whether directly or indirectly, are making positive changes in today’s business world, and they will continue do so as the tail-end of the generation makes its way into the workforce. In what ways have you noticed positive millennial influence in the work environment? Let us know in the comments!