Myth, Busted: Millennials Aren’t the Only Ones Demanding a Tech-Driven Workplace
The Millennial appetite for technology in the workplace is well-documented. But that doesn't mean their more mature colleagues don't also have high expectations for their workplace technology.
Though they may not have come of age as "digital natives," Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, like Millennials, also have largely adopted technology at home and work. That said, clear generational differences separate how Millennials (born 1982-2004), Generation Xers (born 1961-1981) and Baby Boomers (1945-1960) prefer to work and to engage with technology. So, how can you create one IT strategy for all three generations?
Three features of a multi-generational technology platform
To create a tech-driven, connected workspace that enables productivity for every age group, consider these following core principles:
Keep the spotlight on mobility. All three generations appreciate the flexibility of being able to work remotely, which makes your organization's mobility strategy a critical piece in empowering every player on every team. Providing secure, reliable access to workplace apps and data is mandatory for employee engagement and productivity—whether an employee is working at a neighborhood coffee shop or an unassigned desk at corporate headquarters.
- Never underestimate the power of tech-enabled collaboration. A Knoll Workplace study found that Boomers love a good conference room, with high-quality meeting spaces second only to acoustic privacy in the Baby Boomers' list of priority workplace features. On the other side of the spectrum, Millennials rank the quality of meeting rooms last, with top place going to an engaging workplace. Tech-equipped conference rooms, with reservation apps and rich collaboration features such as video conferencing, interactive whiteboards and wireless presentation screens, can support both of these generational values.
- Ask yourself, "How does X technology enhance the employee experience?" Despite the rise of mobile working, virtually all generations rate the office workspace as an "important" place. Therefore, technology should be viewed through the lens of the employee experience. For example, smart building technologies and mobile apps can make an office as nimble as the workforce now demands.
In the end, workplace technology should be tailored to the needs of workers of each generation. By providing the tools, and the training, IT teams can ensure Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials alike can thrive.