Something extraordinary happened in the early 2000s. For the first time in history there were four generations working alongside one another in the workforce. Traditionalists (born 1925 – 1945), Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964), Generation X (born 1965 – 1979) and Millennials (born 1980 – 2000). Each generation has their own separate and distinct attributes, but no generation was judged more harshly than millennials.
Millennials at Work
Millennials are frequently critiqued for having short attention spans and tall egos. Having a reputation for being lazy and having a sense of entitlement didn’t work in their favor when they interviewed. Although it has taken several years to debunk, or rather redefine, these notorious workplace behaviors, much research has gone into the study of millennials’ behavior at work. Some experts, such as Eyal Gutentag, offer workshops to provide valuable insights and tips for working with the younger generation.
Importance of Independence
Younger workers have been called entitled or even rebellious and have been seen as difficult to manage. Chances are they just don’t like to be micromanaged. Millennials enjoy their independence, so supervisors should be prepared to give them leeway but also be available to provide guidance when requested. They may require more hands-on supervision, but it’s a good idea to give them a chance to work more independently at first.
Being trapped in an office environment all day can be a huge challenge for those who are new to having a full-time job. Technological advances have made working remotely, or telecommuting, something that most people could do on a regular basis – perhaps even all the time. So long as they get their work done, don’t miss deadlines and make themselves available for phone meetings, why shouldn’t they be given the opportunity to work in the comfort of their homes where there are less distractions and no need to dress up?