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Millennials in the Office: How to Adapt to Different Working Methods

| Office Life


Aug 18 2015

Millennials are often said to work differently than the generations before them, and if you need evidence of this, you won’t have to go too far to find it. Take, for example, the San Francisco 49ers. The team is made up almost exclusively of millennials – talented athletes in their prime. According to an article recently published in The Wall Street Journal, the old, traditional ways of coaching were just no longer working for the team. After consulting with Stanford University researchers, the 49ers coaching staff implemented a few changes in order to better suit the preferred working habits and learning habits of those aforementioned millennials. These changes are all aimed at helping millennials to both train and perform better.


So why is it important to note what this NFL team is doing? Soon, millennials will account for the majority of the workforce, and helping them to work at their best will be in the best interests of all employers. Here are a few strategies you can implement to help those with different preferred working and learning habits:


Make Meetings Shorter

One of the first changes the coaching staff made was to trim down the standard two hour meetings into four 30 minute ones instead with breaks in between each one. Chances are, there are many workplaces that could benefit from shorter meetings. In fact, too-long meetings are one of the most common grievances among employees, no matter what industry they happen to work in. A good way to judge if meetings are too long or perhaps too frequent is to take stock of your meeting culture. Also, make sure that your meetings end with each team member having their own set of action items to complete. This not only ensures that the meetings will be productive, but can also help to keep team members on task and organized.


Give the Option for Breaks

Breaks have been proven to help with the productivity of all employees, not just millennials, so this is a change that is bound to help everyone all across the board. Whether it’s having a coffee bar area set up for workers to take a break and refuel or just encouraging employees to take a quick walk when they are feeling overwhelmed, having a space where taking a break is tolerated and not looked down on can really help employees feel more refreshed and be more productive. The 49ers saw better focus and better performance by instituting more breaks – even if the athletes did not always take said breaks.


Allow Access to Information

There is a reason why the millennial generation has also been dubbed “the iPhone generation”; they like being connected and feel the need to have access to instant information. Allowing for millennials to access cell phones and the internet can help keep them feeling inspired and motivated. Constant access to information doesn’t have to be distracting when combined with the freedom to take a few short breaks here and there.


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