Gen Y en­ter era of mo­bile of­fices

Flex­i­ble work­ing con­di­tions soon to be the norm, writes Cara Jenkin

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THE ex­o­dus of Baby boomers will see Gen­er­a­tion Y work­ers trans­form the work­place, with those born be­tween about 1980 and 1999 to make up 50 per cent of the work­force by 2020.

Dr Karie Wil­ly­erd, coau­thor of The 2020 Work­place, says it means mo­bile tech­nol­ogy will be­come more of a sta­ple work­ing tool within the decade and more peo­ple will spend more time work­ing out­side the of­fice.

Al­ready 68 per cent of the work­force be­lieves work­ing in an of­fice is not nec­es­sary for their role and Gen­er­a­tion Y staff, in par­tic­u­lar, are ‘‘ quite com­fort­able’’ us­ing dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy to con­nect to other peo­ple, she says.

‘‘ They want choices about how they want to work – they don’t feel the need to be in an of­fice,’’ she says.

‘‘ We’re go­ing into an era of hav­ing much more flex­i­ble work­ing con­di­tions.

‘‘ I don’t think it means com­pletely work­ing in the of­fice or work­ing from home.

‘‘ I don’t think we will be in the of­fice as many hours. I think we’re go­ing to work about the same amount of hours but more of them con­nected vir­tu­ally.’’

She says the av­er­age age at which peo­ple are hav­ing chil­dren now is late 20s and early 30s. By 2020 many more Gen Y staff will want the op­tion to pick up their chil­dren from school, then work from home af­ter­wards.

Wil­ly­erd says it will lead to more work/life in­te­gra­tion.

Other dif­fer­ences Gen­er­a­tion Y will bring to the work­place com­pared to pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions in­clude a stronger pref­er­ence for so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, a de­sire for more di­rect feed­back from man­agers, and coach­ing and men­tor­ing for pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment rather than class­room-based train­ing.

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