A more enduring approach to meeting the communications needs of the millennial workforce is to focus on unifying their communications by providing a single user experience for UC services (voice, video, instant messaging & presence, collaboration, etc.) that extends across all employer-provided and BYOD devices, platforms and networks.
In a Gartner global survey of CIOs, 38% of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016 and half of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes by 2017, which means that the diversity of mobile devices that organizations need to support in the coming years will increase.
Unified Communications is, at its core, optimally suited for how millennials communicate, and enterprises that recognize the expectation of younger workers to access any or all of these UC services in real-time and in an integrated fashion are best positioned to improve enterprise-wide productivity.
4. Look at how millennials communicate, not only what they communicate with
Earlier this year, business school professors at Washington University in St. Louis conducted an experiment among 214 undergraduates that hypothesized standing up – as opposed to being seated – felt less constricted to produce more ideas, and showed more engagement with peers.
The results of the experiment do not mean that offices around the country will be putting all desk chairs up for bid on eBay tomorrow, but it does reinforce the fact that millennial workers will not necessarily be most productive in a sedentary position for ten hours a day.
Remaining focused on how millennials communicate will dictate the devices and applications that will empower them to collaborate and improve productivity. The need for mobility and solutions that allow for uninterrupted communications as they move may prove increasingly key to unlocking workforce productivity in the future.
For example, technology that enables a work to seamlessly transition from a desk phone call to a video chat on their iPad or messaging chat on a smartphone not only supports millennials as they work outside of the office, but inside the office as well as workers seek more flexibility to communicate on the move.
Recognizing this, businesses should evaluate technologies and tools that facilitate greater ideation among the workforce. This could mean adding interactive screens in common areas as opposed to the traditional placement of projector screens around a conference table or re-thinking the design of meeting rooms.
- Leslie Ferry is Vice President of Marketing at BroadSoft