It’s a common misconception that millennials are lazy and unambitious, and it’s a notion that I (as a millennial myself) reject wholeheartedly. Why? Because we are the generation of wider education and adventure; there are more University graduates than ever and our wanderlust hearts keep us exploring the world, and this includes many different cultures. Make no mistake, just because we do not measure our ambition within the confines of an office does not make us the underachievers.
The world in which we have grown into is not so much of a promising one – the cost of living is rising, but our wages are not. We are ‘generation rent’ because we may never actually be able to afford houses of our own, with the average deposit now coming out at £33,000 in the UK. So why would we put everything we have into a job that will ultimately fail us financially?
Not only are our personal and financial needs not being met, but our professional needs are also being neglected. Tired, uninspiring work places and practices have become the norm in so many companies, regardless of their size. For a generation thriving on worldly experiences a plain white, four walled office doesn’t quite cut it. We’re not asking for a beach front office in the Caribbean – although that would be nice…but we are expecting perks and an environment that reflects our generation’s view of the world.
Not only has our attitude to work changed, but our work culture is also still changing. According to reports the attention span of millennials are decreasing due to the increased use of smartphones and integrated technology in our everyday lives. At the touch of a button we can find the information that we want, buy whatever we need and talk to our peers. It’s these shorter attention spans that are not being fed creative and out-of-the-box thinking in too many 9-5s, leaving my generation feeling lethargic and uninspired at work. Smartphone use is not even a choice for the modern businessman or woman, with employers pushing for more digitally driven roles but missing the mark when it comes to making these roles flexible. Let’s face it no one wants to spend 8 hours of their day sat at the same desk, in the same place, surrounded by the same people.
If businesses and employers want to reap the benefits of having digitally sound millennials on their side, they have to offer us something other than the bare minimum at the end of each month – think employee perk schemes, flexible working hours, seasonal bonuses or even team socials. Now I know none of those things will help us buy a house, but it will give us that motivation to get up in the morning and sometimes that’s all we need.