By Monica Sanchez
The most stressful location you can think of has recently become a fun place to be thanks to Millennials: the workplace.
Honestly, we should all be getting down on our knees and praising Millennials in some sort of weird cult-like ritual because we hate work a little less due to their ideals forcing the hands of little and big-name corporations changing the way they do business.
Corporations have noticed a shift in values from their Millennial job applicants. Perhaps, this shift is due to the fact that “millennials edged out Generation X (35 to 50 years old in 2015) as the largest share of the labor force” (NY Times). Recently, companies have made adjustments to the workplace to attract Millennials they want who have fresh and innovative ideas. Millennials want a fun and more casual workplace that has a true work-life balance.
Because of these values, here’s what Millennials are ditching:
Wearing a Suit and Tie / Dress Suit
Millennials would rather wear jeans and a t-shirt at work because they prefer to be comfortable in every area of their life. Also in Forbes, Jenny Dearborn explains that “Dressing formally can constrain innovative thinking…When clients are really stuck on a challenge, a more casual dress code can sometimes help” (Forbes).
Addressing People by Their Last Name
Millennials tend to use first names in the workplace because they enjoy relating to people. A lot of Millennials are usually friends with their coworkers too, and it seems awkward and out of place for them to stick formal titles.
Formal Greetings / Salutations in Emails
For Millennials, it slows them down if they have to use formal greetings and salutations in work emails constantly, especially when they send and receive a high number of emails a day. Of course, they use them if they are reaching out to a client, but Millennials tend to neglect such formalities amongst their coworkers.
Speaking quietly, especially when an employee is excited or on a roll with a concept for a new project, can hinder productivity. It’s perfectly normal in the Millennial workplace to shout across the room to ask a question. Tasks get accomplished faster and attitudes stay positive and focused on the goal due to the level of excitement in the surrounding environment.
Leaving Political Views at Home
Millennials struggle to keep their political views to themselves, especially in light of recent events. But as long as it’s not over the top, Millennials don’t frown upon discussing politics in the workplace. Millennials enjoy a regular discussion of serious topics because social justice particularly important to them, and they want the freedom to express that at work.
A 9-5 Work Schedule
Above all, Millennials want flexibility in the workplace. Companies are now willing to accommodate Millennials. They desperately want new blood to drive innovative ideas and believe they can obtain that by offering “the ability…[to] work from home or part-time, and take unpaid leave if they wish, [this] will attract people and encourage them to stay and fulfil their potential” (BBC).
Taking Work Home With Them
With Millennials, work stays at work unless they opt to work remotely. A work-life balance is important to Millennials because they are so often involved in other activities such as sports teams, volunteer work, and other active hobbies instead of just going home and sitting on the couch.
Comfort and flexibility are both key to a happy life, which is why Millennials also desire them in the workplace, as opposed to a long list of suffocating rules.
Yes, some rules in the workplace are vital to keep order and the world going round. But strict, rigid rules just aren’t necessary to make a business successful. And frankly, companies that regularly enforce strict rules hinder the effectiveness of their bottom line because it decreases the level of intrinsic motivation within their employees.
Millennials have already figured out the secret to living their best life. Less formalities in the workplace can make all aspects of life enjoyable. And who wouldn’t want that? Hopefully, more people are willing to let go of their former routines and cross over to this positive shift in values.
*Originally written for Beacon Media News / Pasadena Independent