Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s recent article on why millennials want to work for themselves nicely articulates the frustrations millennials have with traditional employment. I agree, that milennials value a sense of independence, freedom and work-life balance but I don’t think it’s just my generation. Those with jobs regardless of age value those things too. People want to feel appreciated and to not be micromanaged by a boss that will demand 12 hour work days with little to no gratitude in the end. Instead of labeling how millennials are ignorant, lazy, and a bunch of self-centered individuals that are more likely to take “selfies”, let’s focus on the most important agenda — how can traditional companies, the likes of Yahoo! or HP, attract millennial talent with their current butts-in-desk chairs mentality?
Personally, if I find an employer who shares my common values of trust, passion towards the job, and fosters my goals, then I will absolutely apply for that job. That’s where I’m at with my current employer, Voxeet. I turned down another job offer with a larger salary and company perks, including free lunch and entertainment. I ultimately chose Voxeet not only because of my great experience with the people and because of my belief in the product, but also because I respect their independence and their passion in what they do. Everyone in the company works hard doing their job but we don’t have to do it face to face on a daily basis because we’re not under a microscope. When I was asked questions about flex time and what work-life balance meant to me during the interview process, I knew that this was the company I wanted to work for. I thought it was a win-win for both parties; I get my independence, freedom to work remotely and guidance when I want it. In return, they get the eager, hard-working millennial who they were looking for and who is as passionate about the job, company and product as they are.
Not all millennials want to work for themselves or have the ability to at the moment while we’re still learning skills and paying our dues. We all want to work for a company that we trust, that understand us, and that can help us hone our skills to become the future bosses or entrepreneurs we would like to be. And yes, we want a decent work-life balance too. Does that make us lazy because we want to enjoy our youth instead of working 60 hour+ weeks? Ultimately if big tech giants were to provide options for flex time or remote work instead of worrying to have our millennial butts in our office chairs for 8-12 hours a day, they would keep us longer than 6 months to 3 years. Just like Dr. Chamorro Premuzic said, millennials are truly independent…so why not give us what we want? Those who work remotely are the workforce of the future. I mean, what’s so great about free sodas and ping pong tables when you have to work 12+ hour days, are constantly micromanaged, have zero work-life balance, and are shown little to no appreciation? Nothing. You end up feeling resentment towards the company. So to the big tech giants, give millennials what they want! Let them work remotely, help them set symbiotic goals and be a part of your rockin’ distributed team!
Image credit: The Huffington Post