Gen Y enter era of mobile offices
Flexible working conditions soon to be the norm, writes Cara Jenkin
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.