Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce. Born between 1981 and 1997, they are the most culturally diverse and most educated group in U.S. history. Many will tell you that there are a number of misconceptions about their generation. Frequently depicted as a technology addicted and entitled group who fear commitment, it might seem that millennials aren’t the hardest working, goal-centric, or disciplined – at least compared to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.
Members of Commercial Real Estate Women San Francisco (CREW-SF), including Alicia Deschamps, RIM Architects; AJ Jacobsen, CBRE; Erica Levine, ARUP; Verushka Doshi, Haworth; and Kena David, BCCI Construction Company, tackle the topic of millennials in the workforce in the article, “Millennial Mythbusters,” and consider both truths and fallacies of generational stereotypes.
Myth #5: Millennials avoid offices so that they can sit at home and be lazy.
BCCI Sustainability Manager, Kena David and Erica Levine, Energy Consultant at Arup address millennials being labeled as “lazy.” While acknowledging the basis for that idea, they also maintain that it is all wrong!
“Many millennial-dominated companies (such as the ever hip start-up) allow employees to work outside of the office and standard working hours, reducing the amount of time that employees spend at their desks. This can give off the impression that millennials are lazy slackers who can’t drag themselves out of bed.”
David and Levine provide some context,
“…flexible working arrangements may actually increase employee effectiveness, allowing more work to get done in the same amount of time. Research indicates that working in an office is actually quite inefficient.”
David goes on to note that the ability to work remotely increases productivity due to fewer distractions and interruptions that often occur in an office environment. Basically, having the latitude to work in or out of the office and during hours that are not “the standard,” gives millennials the opportunity to perform at their most optimal.
While evident that millennials are different than the generations that have come before them – whether it comes to goals, tactics, or work style – as the largest population in the workforce, they carry significant influence in the future of work environments as well as work-life balance policies.