Mobile Technology And The Millennial Generation As millennials continue to invade the workplace (by 2020 they’ll be half of the global workforce), it’s becoming increasingly critical for organizations to adapt and align with millennial technology preferences. To retain millennials now and in the future, you’ll have to understand what they want and how they want to use technology to be productive and manage their workload. Flexibility is Attractive It’s no secret that millennials want to work remotely. A PriceWaterhouseCooper study revealed the top five things that millennials look for in a job, and flexible work arrangements was number five. Additionally, an AfterCollege survey showed that 68 percent of millennials said it would greatly increase their interest in working for a company if they were able to work remotely. In addition, 77 percent of millennials believe flexible work hours and working remotely would make them more productive. While this may seem counterintuitive, millennials like to work when and where they’re comfortable and focused. Ultimately, millennials want to be connected at all times, similar to how they are frequently engaged and connected to social sites and mobile devices. More Than Millenials However, it’s not just millennials that want to work from home. According to Gallup, 43 percent of Americans worked remotely at some point in the last year, and by 2020 mobile workers will account for 72 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Those statistics are evidence enough that as employee preferences shift to a flexible and remote work environment, your technology needs to shift, too. This will help keep your employees engaged and active, even though they’re working outside the office. Having the right technology goes a long way and will serve to keep your employees happy and productive. For example, cloud-based systems for application hosting, data storage, and remote connectivity can make it easy for employees to access what they need to be productive at anytime and from any location. You’ll also need ways to communicate with your remote employees. Phones, integrated email software, instant messaging, and the occasional web meeting, make it easier to keep remote workers on the same page and keep an open line of communication. Solutions like unified communications can integrate multiple communications functions to improve collaboration and information sharing. As business mobility increases and technology shifts, all departments within your organization are impacted (especially from a software and business systems standpoint). Millennials are used to being independent and solving problems themselves in the fastest way possible. For example, within your HR department, this could mean offering a way for your employees to access, manage, request, and change their benefits and personal information online. What’s the Catch? While this all sounds well and good, is there a catch to allowing millennials to work remotely? Sort of. While engaging millennials and offering mobile technology is important, you also need to educate them about how to be secure when working remotely. This starts with employee awareness training to educate them on tactics used by hackers to target employees and steal business information. It also means implementing a data security policy, which is used to define approved methods to securely transfer or share data and define restricted methods to help stop the use of unsupported or unsafe services and applications. Once you have a data security policy in place, send it to your employees, and consistently communicate the standards and policies. Leveraging innovative and flexible technology will help you successfully attract and retain the emerging millennial workforce. If you’re looking to compete for the best talent, particularly in this period of tight labor markets, you need to adapt to the flexibility millennials expect, and offer them the tools to work remotely. Finding top millennial talent and understanding the technology required to support a mobile environment can be difficult and time-consuming. However, business solutions providers, like Aureon, can take care of all of those things for you, allowing you to have the tools to increase communication and enhance productivity for the millennial workforce. Does your organization need to implement mobile technologies to adapt to millennials’ needs? Ron Schmudlach Ron Schmudlach has been helping clients understand technology for over 30 years. For the last 5 years he has worked with Aureon Technology as an Account Executive. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Upper Iowa University and is active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and with the Rotary Club, where he is a Paul Harris Fellow.