Technology has come a long way, completely transforming the way we live, work and communicate. Of all the demographic groups, it’s safe to assume that technology adoption has probably been most seamless amongst millennials. This means they now have a particular set of expectations when it comes to their own working environments, more so than their predecessors. Millennials have come to expect access to a flawless suite of systems, tools and applications that allow them to be as productive and efficient as possible in their professions.
Millennials in the workplace
One point to consider is that millennials are no longer the youngest generation at work. Those at the upper end of the age range will have a good few years of experience under their belts by now. They’ll be progressing in their careers, reaching more senior positions, and will be starting to have an influence on the future of the office. Others might have just a handful of years’ experience, but it’s for those on the younger end of the spectrum that workplace environment and culture is likely to be even more important. It could even be the difference between staying with a company or jumping ship.
As one Forbes article puts it: millennials are about to start setting new standards of leadership (as baby boomers begin to retire) because they have a different set of priorities. For example, diversity and inclusion will be high on the agenda. But for businesses to match the needs of millennials as this happens, and foster the best environment for business growth, they’ve got to make sure the right tools and communication channels are at their disposal.
Communication remains critical
As millennials start to run the show, they’ll be the generation on the frontline facing an AI revolution. And while it’s true that technology is going to continue changing modern workplaces at pace, throughout it all, the ability to communicate will remain crucial to maintaining an effective, efficient workforce.
The last decade has seen a huge proliferation in the range of communication methods available, and at the same time, it’s easy to make sweeping assumptions about the millennial relationship with communication. Have they really fallen out of love with speaking on the phone? Do they really consider picking up the phone a last resort?
In Gamma’s own Transformation Game research, we found that 64% of IT decisions makers are concerned that their businesses are losing the art of speaking on the phone. Yet 73% agree that voice has unique properties as a business tool and is under-utilised in their organisation
So, while millennials may be relying more heavily than ever on text-based methods of communication, that’s no reason to assume that they’re against picking up the phone or don’t see the advantages. If they’re choosing other communication methods first, it’s more likely to be because the voice channels at their disposal have not kept pace with the digital transformation that surrounds them. They expect communication to be quick, convenient and effective, and they’ll pick whichever method best meets those standards.
How to make voice more effective
When we talk about effective communication, there’s still nothing better than voice when it comes to getting work done. We can talk faster than we can type, after all. And if anything, voice is making a comeback with the rise of voice recognition technology, which is increasingly making its way into our homes and daily lives.
Gamma’s research shows that voice is still the most favoured method of communication for a number of workplace activities and continues to be the most used daily channel by businesses, with 85% of the people we survey using the phone every day. Email came in next at 76%.
One way for businesses to meet the needs of millennials, is to ensure that the voice channels at their disposal are fit-for-purpose. For voice to feel as effective as any other channel, it needs to fit in with trends such as the rise of remote working and to seamlessly integrate with other channels and platforms. It can play a significant part in improving mobile productivity. If businesses can get this right, voice continues to be as effective and efficient a communication tool as any other.
All of which points towards the need for a cloud-hosted solution that can offer both fixed and mobile telephony. Not only would it aid business productivity, efficiency and growth, but it would also meet the needs of millennials who are set to have a leading role in defining the future of our workplaces.