Millennials and Workplaces (04-24-17)

Millennial leaders’ responses to workplaces were investigated via a recent study.  A podcast sponsored by Wharton featured Ron Williams and Rebecca Ray; Williams and Ray, who are both executives with The Conference Board, discussed research that group did with Millennial leaders.  The introduction to the transcript of part of that podcast reports that investigators determined that these Millennials “are more like the older generation than originally thought, and the current differences are mainly due to the life stage that they are in.”  Ray states that “Millennial leaders don’t necessarily like the open workspace that has become a fad the last few years.” She continues: “CEOs, generally speaking, thought that was a more important element of workforce design than did millennials. And in fact, millennials and non-millennial leaders — regardless of generation — were less enamored of the open floor plan. They were also less enamored of flatter organizational structures. I think what they all wanted — and both millennial leaders and non-millennial leaders ranked these things higher than did CEOs — were flexible policies for vacation and work schedules, and then more flexible options for working remotely and collaborating virtually.”  Williams adds that open offices “came out of the technology sector, particularly on the West Coast. It tended to have more informal and collegial environments. The big difference is those are software development companies where getting the user of the software and the developer in the same space, iterating back and forth in an agile development way, really contributes lots of value. That’s really different from other types of industries, where people sometimes need to put their heads down and actually concentrate on what they are doing.”

“How Millennials Will Lead the C-Suite.”  2017.  Podcast/Transcript,