Digital workplaces in the future will allow digital natives to find information and evaluate information to the right people, without compromising safety and security.
The future of the digital workplace will be — of course all about technology, more than anything though, it will be about how people interact with the technology. Advancements in mobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) hold a tremendous amount of promise. The key for enterprises is balancing the entry of digital natives into the workplace, investments in these new technologies, and how these two things interact. Read this blog to find out how digital natives are changing the modern workplace.
Who are Digital Natives?
People such as Millennials and Gen Zs who were born in the digital era are called Digital Natives. These generations were born and have been raised in a digitally endowed world. Whereas older generations used to communicate with each other without any technologies such as mobile technology, computer, and the internet. But these technologies have been used by Gen Zs since their birth.
These people grew up with the adoption of digital technology as a basic need of their domestic, social, and educational lives. The implied comfort of these workers and dependence on technology through working, learning, and collaborating. As the workplace moves towards consumerization, millennials can change businesses of all kinds — from the technological investments of companies to their work processes to their organizational design. Read on to find out how are digital natives changing the modern workplace:
1. Timelines Accelerate, Placing a Premium on Attention
Digital natives move fast — whether it’s through their gig economy-based careers, their penchant for microlearning or their capability to conduct multiple conversations across (at best) tangentially related online discussions and projects.
Investments in AI, IoT, and other technologies that do repetitive tasks, output usable business intelligence or provide real-time decision support will benefit these digital natives. They offload work to technology easier than their older workmates so they can focus their attention on the most strategic or judgment-oriented work, which only humans can do.
2. Good Ideas Come From Everywhere
Digital natives are social media natives. For them, a company without instant messaging, social forums, and other ways of connecting online in real-time is a red flag. But beyond relying on these platforms to connect and communicate, these workers are accustomed to establishing their online personas and influencing discourse through multiple platforms. Implicitly, social networks, and multi-cloud experiences are diffuse and anti-hierarchical.
3. Results Over Optics
Younger generations of workers are comfortable with constant connectivity. They work from their mobile phones, often respond instantly to emails, and expect to text with their colleagues as soon as an idea or issue arises whether it is between 9 and 5 or not. These behaviors undermine conventional optics of productivity, like spending a set number of hours in the office each day. Conversely, digital natives expect the contributions of each individual to be transparently visible.
4. The Kind of Tools Digital Natives Use
Today’s enterprise technology ecosystem, particularly the SaaS ecosystem, is approaching an inflection point in its evolution. More than 90 percent of the SaaS tools used by companies today are department-specific and the average organization employs 129 distinct apps. As a result, a new breed of digital team collaboration tools has emerged, like Slack or Trello, that use extensive software interoperability to drive greater synergy among these disparate business applications.
Findings from the Millennial Compass Report, which surveyed 1,293 employees in the U.S., India, China, the U.K., France, and Brazil, provide further insight into Millennials in the workplace:
- Millennials are ambitious. More than 40% of this Millennials expect to be in a management position within two years.
- Millennials say they have a strong work ethic, but redefine the term to include a decent work-life balance.
- Loyalty to the organization is not a particularly strong value for the Millennials. Nearly 50% of those surveyed say they plan to depart from their employer after 2 years.
- Millennials want to view their boss or manager as their peer, coach, or mentor. Millennials do not concern themselves with titles, and strongly admire those with experience or knowledge over position or power.
Digital Natives and E-commerce
Tech-savvy? Yeah. Mildly obsessed? Probably. It’s not shocking news to digital natives that their smartphones are so deeply integrated with their daily lives that 83% admit to sleeping with their smartphones. Relying on the ability to access information at all times, the Millennials are accustomed to an on-demand lifestyle. This translates to how they expect all other experiences to be — especially shopping.
It is estimated that by 2015, half of the e-commerce transactions will be handled from a mobile device. Within two years of that, Millennials will comprise the largest online audience and have more buying power than any previous generation.
Given their impatient nature and growing influence on social media, brands will have to be diligent and responsive when trying to create worthwhile customer experiences for digital natives. As heavy social media users, digital natives can be a brand’s greatest advocate or even the worst critic. Not afraid to express their opinions, it’s imperative that brands engage in the conversation and listen and learn from the online chatter.
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