Impact of technology

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED… BUT WORKPLACES HAVE NOT! 

This excellent video by Dave Coplin from Microsoft, discusses the changing needs of the modern employee and how technology has changed the way they behave and work. Despite this, many businesses still follow industrial era models where people come into the same place everyday and repeat standardised tasks and processes, which is not fit for a technological age. It also describes how the current trend of open plan offices are destructive to workplace happiness and innovation, yet many businesses adopt open plan offices as their default setup. Sadly, very few companies have reacted to these changes appropriately resulting in the world many modern employees see inside work being very different to the one outside work. As such, is it any wonder why modern employees are feeling so dis-engaged with the current workplace? Below are some insights into how technology has fundamentally changed our mindset and what businesses can do to react to it.

VIDEO: RE-IMAGINING WORK
FOR THE DIGITAL AGE

TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED HOW MODERN EMPLOYEES THINK AND BEHAVE

Technology has fundamentally changed the mindset of modern employees and as a result how they behave. All these factors need to be understood so that modern workplaces are more aligned with the people that work within them. Below is a full breakdown of the impact technology has had on the way we think and behave, shaping the Millennial Mindset that lies at the heart of every modern employee.

THE WAY WE LEARN

Modern employees no longer need to have such a deep understanding of a subject unless they are a specialist as they can get access to the world’s bank of knowledge via the internet. This has changed how many people learn, with a lot of people now having knowledge about a wide range of subjects as opposed to a deep level of knowledge about a particular subject. It also changes how modern employees can evolve their career as they can easily learn new skills online. The new skill-sets that are required for the digital age are to be good at interrogating information in terms of its accuracy and biasness and interpreting it back into their own environment. Interestingly it is also about the mastering your soft skills to influence others and not just being a subject matter expert like it was in the past.

COLLABORATION & COMMUNICATION

We are in a world of always on social media. Instant updates where everyone is an author and has the ability to express their latest thoughts and share them with the world in seconds. This whole notion of ‘social’ media is about sharing and collaboration and is an innate behaviour outside of work yet inside of work communications are often governed by strict rules e.g. You cannot talk to X until you speak to Y first or you need to have three meetings first before you can share this idea any further. Outside of work information is shared, but inside of work it is held back. Businesses need to recognise this and adopt new technology and ways of communicating that fit the behaviours of modern employees.


WHERE WE WORK

With widespread adoption and accessibility of new technology and connectivity it means the modern employee can pretty much work anywhere and still do their job. With the increasing adoption of teleconferencing whether this is Skype or the more professional offerings, fast broadband, wifi hotspots and 4G tethering, the notion of going into a fixed place of work to do what you could do at home seems outdated. Sure there are some jobs where this is not possible and the element of team work is crucial too, however businesses need to recognise that employees can have a much better quality of life and in turn be much more productive if they offered flexible working options and not be office based 100% of the time.

WHEN WE WORK

With a switch to a more service economy that relies on technology and where the availability of high speed internet and computers is widespread, the notion of having to come into work between 9 and 5 is no longer applicable. The fact is that different people work better at different times of the day and have different lifestyles and schedules that they need to accommodate which traditional work schedules do not cater for. Also, many jobs require an element of creativity that does not just happen between 9 and 5. Therefore the ability to work remotely with a flexible work schedule where your work is judged on the value you deliver and not the time spent in the office is what is needed by modern employees.

ACCESS TO NETWORKS

In the past, the opportunities you had available to you were heavily influenced by your personal network. This is why so much weight is put on getting into prestigious schools, universities and companies as they will give you access to a network that could benefit you in future. However, the internet has now ‘shrunk’ the globe and made it much more accessible, especially from an employment perspective. Now you can easily find like minded people, get insight into what working for a certain company is really like and discover job opportunities. It is now easier than ever before to search and apply for jobs if you are unhappy with your current role, meaning businesses need to do more to cater to the needs of their employees in order to keep them.

BROADER PERSPECTIVES

In the past our information was dictated largely by the mainstream media, primarily TV, radio, newspapers and academia. However, information is now freely available across the internet allowing anyone to access and see first hand, footage of atrocities on the other side of the world, the plight of one group of people to serve another or to hear opinions that are against the mainstream. This widespread access to global content has broadened our collective perspective as we are seeing things we may have never seen in the past. This has made us more aware of our impact in the world whilst also making it harder for the traditional gatekeepers of information to cover things up. This has had a significant impact on the attitudes of the modern employee to life and the way they work.

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Modern Employee Defined

The Millennial Mindset is not dependent on your age, it is a way of thinking. As time moves on there is an increasing number of people, irrespective of age, adopting a Millennial Mindset which businesses need to understand.

Speaking at your organisation

I have spoken at many organisations and global events shedding light on the latest trends in professional Millennial behaviour and new ways of working. If you would like to invite me to speak at your organisation or event, click to find out more.