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Jonathan Gourwitz, Brightwing’s VP of Sales & Delivery, weighs in on Millennials’ influence on the American workplace:
“If a job does not need to be done in a traditional 9-5 environment, then Millennials want to go to work on their time, in their way, in whatever location they want to work.
I don’t think that it’s just Millennials that want to operate that way. I think that it’s become something that many generations are looking for.
But what’s funny is we also find that there is a strong desire to be a part of a team. And so while very often Millennials want to work independently and remotely, they also don’t want to be alone. So they like teamwork.
People want flexibility. But they also have a strong desire to be a part of the community. The key is to give employees the power to decide where to work, instead of mandating it.
Years ago I was with an organization, and we hired several Millennials. We built an office space for them that was really kind of a hotel space where they had the option of coming in every single day or working remote every single day.
Our expectation was that we would never see these Millennials again once we brought them onboard.
What we found very quickly was about 80% of them showed up to that office every single day because they liked the community, they liked the team environment.
They also liked the ability to not be there every single day and to have the flexibility, but they liked the fact that it was their decision. It wasn’t mandated. They had the ability to determine what their career looked like.
I think we spend too much time focusing on flexibility. I think it’s something people want, but I think that there’s also still a strong desire to be a part of the community, to be a part of a team, and to have that interaction
The best organizations are going to find a healthy balance of remote work and in-person community building.
It’s very difficult to recognize your purpose when you don’t see the rest of the organization.
To understand how you fit in and how you contribute if you never see your colleagues or your bosses in person — it’s difficult to do.
So I think the best organizations are going to understand what work can be done remote, but always give the option to let their employees come in and be with each other every single day.
There’s value in team building, there’s value in relationship building, and I think the goal for every organization moving forward is to find that healthy mix — flexibility along with community building
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