Work Habits of the New Millennium
There are over 79 million of them. 27% of them are self-employed. And by 2030, they will make up 50% of the workforce.
There are many names for the generation that is about to take over America’s economic, technological, and creative future: Generation Y, Generation Smartphone, the 9/11 Generation. Most commonly, though, we just identify them with the groundbreaking power that comes with growing up the brand new age of the year 2000: meet the Millennials.
This generation full of tech-savvy Facebookers knew what Google was before their parents did. They frequently have to explain to older people how to delete songs on iTunes and what a URL is. They’ve learned how to type – and type fast – before they’ve perfected their own handwriting. And they’re going to usher the workforce into an entirely new age of technological innovation.
Initially introduced in the 70s, telecommuting gained speed as it was gradually incorporated into federal offices in the 80s and 90s. And with the Clean Air Act of 1990 and following amendments in 1996, workplaces were forced to cut commute and travel pollution by offering car pooling services, public transportation aids, condensed work weeks, or telecommuting infrastructures. Many businesses chose the latter – and never looked back.
It’s blossomed into a force to be reckoned with in the years since. Between 2005 and 2012, the number of telecommuters increased by 79% – cinching it’s place as a work staple that is not only not going away any time soon, but is only going to increase with time – mostly thanks to the millennials.
Their generation has linked into this trend with ease. They more than welcome a workday built upon a computer and an internet connection. Generation Y feels very at ease with technology, and can usually fix or remedy technological disruptions and connection issues on their own, and even thrive in an atmosphere where their talents and capabilities are needed. 56% of them reported they felt that technology saved them time, allowing them to complete more wor than they would have in a traditional work environment. And as they have established themselves as the most environmentally-aware generation to date, many of them flock to the chance to save some dough and lessen their carbon footprint by cutting out their work commute entirely.
One of the defining traits of this group of people is their technological savvy. It’s actually a defining trait of their generation – the Baby Boomers considered “work ethic” their most important factor. Millennials consider theirs “technology use.” But out of all their various technological endeavors, their mobile presence is particularly impressive. While millennials are easy to crack jokes about – sometimes they look like they’ve been staring at their phones for hours on end – they’ve singlehandedly molded mobile technology with their gradual persistence – they’ve even driven the creation of new payment technologies because of their wide use of mobile payment methods.
The Multiscreen Generation
Every marketer worth their salt knows that social media changed the content marketing game. Everyone who’s anyone has a Facebook, a LinkedIn, or a Twitter. Generation Y has played a huge part in that. A Nielsen study found that most millennials crave several sources of input – resulting in a constant influx of information coming from tablets, tvs, smartphones, and other devices. This created a culture in which advertisers began reaching out to social media to compliment television shows and commercials. Hashtags and online contests started intertwining with anticipated premieres for shows, and even commercials started doing their part to hack into the online/mobile strata.
A New Age
Millennials have forever changed the ways with which we advertise, communicate, and buy. This means that not only have they affected every industry – but they will rejuvenate each industry internally as they enter, and conquer, the workforce. We’ve provided a handy infographic to illustrate just what we can expect to see as they permeate the American workplace.
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