If you’re under the age of 25, heck 30, and even remotely connected on social media platforms, you have probably been subjected to at least one or two snide comments from elders regarding both your self-centered nature as well as your addiction to your phone.
We get it. The generation of kids who received trophies in our soccer games regardless of whether we won or lost. Yes, we like to wear jeans instead of slacks and, heck, show excitement when we see a keg or free snacks at an office.
And while this may be a stark contrast to how it was done “back then” or “in the old days,” here is the question: is it completely fair to say that this generation is just a group of whiners who expect free booze and can’t look up from their phone for more than 30 seconds at a time? Maybe it is. But perhaps just because the current working, company-founding millennials are doing things a little differently, doesn’t mean they are less productive than their counterparts of years prior.
“Is it completely fair to say that this generation is just a group of whiners who expect free booze and can’t look up from their phone for more than 30 seconds at a time?”
Ah, another millennial trying to convince me a millennial isn’t what a millennial is.
As a proud 1996 kid, it is my duty to defend my selfie-taking peers. Plus, biases are real. However, my journey on #Entretech2018 has given me a few pieces of valid evidence to support the idea that maybe the “millennial working styles” aren’t quite as wacky as some may think. Perhaps they allow a company to be as effective as one with an older style.
Over the course of a week, I have had the pleasure of meeting millennials in their places of work. Millennials who allow their dogs to roam the office. And millennials who have a wall in their office dedicated to staff member’s pictures with their Snapchat filters. Millennials who take breaks for intense games of ping-pong. And millennials who are both genuinely happy and exceptionally productive in their careers.
We chatted with both employees and even execs at companies such as BrandYourself, Emogi, SEVENROOMS, Crowd Twist, Arkadium, and Walk Me. All are small yet very successful startups, led by younger individuals, and in the 30-300 employee range. It became apparent how confident they were that these types of environments are crucial.
Kenny Rosenblatt, President and Co-founder of Arkadium, had an entire platform to create a positive work environment. Rewards included sending two outstanding employees on an adventure of their choice, completely expensed, each year. And while this seems nuts, the practice pays off as, Arkadium has ranked as one of Inc. Magazine’s 50 Best Places to Work.
So yes, it is a little drastic when you compare these progressive offices to a more formal office. But, at the end of the day, a company has the job of bringing in revenue. CEOs aren’t going to sit back and watch them sink willingly.
Maybe you wish you were a millennial. (Join us!)
Here is the real kicker: these offices, with their progressive, casual atmospheres, are not just attracting millennials. People of all ages are jumping over from corporate jobs to test their skills and try out something new. In the same vein, plenty of millennials choose to go the corporate route out of school and fully commit to wearing footwear other than sneakers every day.
And that is a beautiful thing.
The fusion of skills and the trade of talent is what keeps current businesses flourishing and what keeps new businesses erupting. So perhaps, if a company is functioning, we should just let it do its thing. As a wise man once said, “whatever floats your boat, as long as the boat doesn’t sink…” (That is how it goes, right?)
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go Instagram a picture I took of the NYC skyline.