Collaborating Millennials Are Happy Millennials

Date:   Thursday , May 05, 2016

Headquartered in California, ShoreTel specializes in the development and sale of IP communications systems for global enterprises and it also enables the IT administrators to view & manage the entire system of the enterprise from any location using a single application.

If you have any doubt that technology tools like instant messaging and Web conferencing define workplace collaboration, consider this: the Millennial generation were expected to surpass Baby Boomers in the workplace before the end of 2015. Already, their numbers exceed those of Generation X, and by 2020 they will represent 50 percent of the workforce.

What\'s this got to do with technology and collaboration? As the first generation to grow up with computers, mobile phones and social media, Millennials are adept at digital interaction. Often called the \'collaboration generation\', they value a business culture that focuses on teamwork.

While they may be much-maligned as self-centered and unfocused, Millennials are not only poised to take over the workplace, they\'re already moving into leadership positions. As they do, they\'re bringing with them preferences for tools that make communication & collaboration easier and faster.

While in-person interaction is still the favored method of communication, a significant number of Millennials prefer to work collaboratively through digital channels. In one study, PwC found that 41 percent preferred electronic communications over face-to-face conversations. And a Network Computing survey said that 40 percent favored online meetings over in-person sessions.

Yet 71 percent of Millennials also expressed dissatisfaction with the collaboration tools their employers offer, according to Network Computing. This was notably higher than the 45 percent of Baby Boomers who felt the same way.

What collaboration tools do they prefer?

Mobile Phones: Smartphone ownership among Millennials is nearly ubiquitous, with 86 percent of 18 to 29 year old owning one in 2015, according to Pew Research Center. Network Computing found that 32 percent of Millennials use their mobile devices for collaboration, compared to 23 percent of Baby Boomers.

Chat and Messaging: While more than a third of Baby Boomers find chat or texting to be the least effective forms of collaboration, Millennials clearly have a different view. Nearly half told Network Computing that they prefer using chat or text messaging when communicating with coworkers, vendors or partners.

Document Sharing: Millennials are adept at using services such as Google Docs or Dropbox. They expect to work with systems that enable them to access and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets from anywhere and any device.

Web Conferencing: As a generation raised on FaceTime, collaborating with Web conferencing technology is natural to them. One of the most defining features of this generation is its ability to multitask. Although the concept of multitasking is somewhat controversial, some studies suggest that the brain is being rewired, and Millennials\' habits are helping that happen.

Whether true or not, it\'s clear that Millennials find it easier than previous generations to shift between tasks quickly - or even manage several tasks simultaneously. In the workplace, businesses can play to this strength by providing well-integrated collaboration tools on a unified communications platform.

In summary, expect this generation to be more demanding about the technology and tools their employers offer. Businesses who want to attract Millennial talent should be ready to invest in the collaboration tools that they love.