by Tom Kaneshige

Want to Know What Millennials Want? Just Ask Them

News Analysis
Jul 10, 20142 mins
CareersIT Leadership

A survey of millennials finds, among other things, that Generation Y wants to be mobile and they donu2019t expect you to pay for it. But you better have a BYOD policy in place to support these consumer-tech-happy workers.

social networking millennials
Credit: Thinkstock

Just about every Silicon Valley tech company wants to fill its ranks with smart millennials — the future of the workforce. Wooing them hasn’t been easy. Competition for their services is fierce. Giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter are throwing wads of cash at them.

But what do these young, tech-savvy sharpshooters really want?

Aside from the usual suspects such as good pay, cool managers and job security, millennials have a major driving force in their job search: an unusual work-life balance, as in, there isn’t any. That is, millennials blend their work life and personal life into their daily life.

In terms of technology, this translates into mobility and consumer tech.

A blended work-life balance means millennials want to work wherever and whenever they want, not in a cubicle between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. That’s the definition of mobility, and they’ll actually work longer and earlier. Millennials also want the technology they carry, such as a smartphone or tablet, to be used for both work and personal purposes, which is to say, they want their employer to have a “Bring Your Own Device” policy.

[Related: Millennials Rule the Valley: Enjoy It While It Lasts]

An online survey of millennials from some 350 businesses conducted earlier this year by Survey Monkey on behalf of RingCentral reflects this thinking. The survey found that 70 percent of respondents work up to 20 hours or more outside the office every week. In support of BYOD, 73 percent don’t expect their employer to provide a smart device for work. (See below for an infographic.)

Then again, much has been written about millennials that, at times, seems contradictory. Last month, CIO magazine writer Lauren Brousell led a panel of techie millennials to dispel a few myths about their generation. It appears they’re not as needy for positive feedback nor as cocky in their grasp of technology nor as given to job-hopping as some industry watchers have suggested.

[Related: How to Manage Millennials: Let Them Do Whatever They Want]

However, the blended work-life balance is still evident. “Panelists said that they are attracted to jobs that allow work-at-home days, and flexible schedules and companies with a great story to tell and a mission that millennials can contribute to,” writes Brousell.

millenial infographic

Click for larger image.