"Are you a baby boomer, Gen Xer or a millennial? Different generations work in different ways. If you're in charge of IT, you need to understand how to make it work for everyone."
How Do Millennials Work?
Some recent research from Microsoft (see graphic above) on the changing nature of work highlighted that millennials prefer ‘persistent chat’ channels (topic-based discussion rooms that do not disappear), and virtual online meetings without video. This contrasts markedly with baby boomers and Generation X, the group directly before millennials, who show a distinct preference for email. For organisations, the issue is delivering on these expectations while making sure they don’t alienate existing employees of different generations. With one part of the workforce demanding new applications, and the other part unsure how to use them, how can IT managers bridge the gap?
Show Them What They are Missing
IT managers must realise an employee’s age changes how they use the IT at work, and why this is beneficial. Take Office 365 for example, the typical millennial is likely to open the Microsoft Teams application first, rather than Microsoft Outlook. It is quick and feature-rich, whereas by comparison, email is slow and single function. Millennials go to Microsoft Teams for reasons including:
- Ability to chat instantly with colleagues
- Easy to call and video call with one-click
- Hold video meetings anywhere to improve collaboration
- Integrated planning app to aid organisation
- Works across mobile as well as desktop
- Ability to edit documents at same time as colleagues
- Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. are all integrated
These features make millennials far more productive and efficient – and what company doesn’t want all of its workforce to be more productive and efficient? Further, with employees now working on twice as many teams than they did five years ago, effective collaboration is all the more important. If organisations can show other sections of the workforce ‘what they are missing’ by helping them explore features they don’t know about, then all employees can reap the benefits of working like a millennial, even if they are not one.
SoftwareONE UK has several ways to help you do this successfully. Our Value Inspiration and Experience Workshops (VIEW) help businesses understand the potential of Office 365 so this knowledge can then be shared with the workforce. In addition, our Unified Cloud Management for Office 365 is designed to help with onboarding to the solution, getting to know the suite of tools on offer, and supporting you with change management processes – all designed to enable users to benefit from the advanced productivity and collaboration features of Office 365.