Have you noticed all the youngsters in your office are always on their phones, pushing the limits of the dress code and stressing the need for more time away from the office?
Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Full disclosure: I am the stereotypical Millennial, so it was interesting — and sometimes a little comical — to hear how my generation was changing Houston’s offices when I spoke to Bonnie Scherry, director of corporate human resources for Houston-based G&A Partners, last week.
Houston’s big business growth has brought a new, young generation of transplants to the city, and they want more than just a corporate job and an hour-long commute. They push hard for ideas that 20 years ago might have been considered crazy, like unlimited paid time off, to maintain a strong work-life balance.
One of the biggest workplace conversations Millennials have sparked is how we have one, she said, which can be a difficult adjustment for other generations. There’s not always a need to be sitting in front of co-worker or superior to get something done. Millennials are just as comfortable corresponding through email, text message or phone calls.
“They’re forcing employers or pushing the limit, saying, ‘I don’t have to be (in the office) to get this done,'” Scherry told me.
It comes down to flexibility, whether that means telecommuting from the other side of town to avoid sitting in traffic or using a large medicine ball as a chair, Scherry said. Millennials want their office setting to be versatile, compared to the rigorous nine-to-five schedules of most office cultures today.
At the end of the day, it comes down to Millennials, Baby Boomers and everyone in between finding a balance between the different styles of work. However, as one generation begins to retire, the other is just beginning to take positions of leadership, so don’t be surprised to find your CEO sitting on a medicine ball one day.
“The Baby Boomer generation has to realize we’re on the sunset of our careers and the Millennials are on the horizon,” Scherry told me. “Pretty soon the roles are going to switch.”
This article, written by Joe Martin, originally appeared in the Houston Business Journal.
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