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Millennials Have Changed the Workplace – for the Better!

We are all too familiar with the Baby Boomer generation. Following that was the Generation X. We are now watching the Millennial generation as it grows. Each generation is distinct in its characteristics developed through the particular collective circumstances that shaped them, therefore, as a whole they have similar ideals. For example, Baby Boomers, one of the largest generations in history, are known to be self-righteous and self-centred, they are either yuppies or free loving hippies. Gen X’ers are the ‘latch-key kids’ who came home from school to an empty house with a key around their neck. They are entrepreneurial and very individualistic.

Millennials, those born after 1981, have been a hot topic for a few years now. They have been called by many names – Generation Y, Generation WE, The Peter Pan Generation- but the Millennial moniker is sticking. When you hear the term millennial, you most commonly picture young kids with cell phone in hand, fresh out of school with a mission to change the world. However, truth is, this generation has been active in the working world for over a decade now and many hold senior titles with highly influential positions.

Millennial’s grew up in a digital environment, were overly nurtured and repeatedly told they were special. While much of the conversation is about how this generation is going to shape our future (are they a blessing or a curse) in actuality, they have already had a huge impact on the business world; for the better.

Characteristics of Millenials:

  • Multi-taskers
  • Connected
  • Tech-savvy

They want:

  • Instant Gratification and Recognition
  • Collaboration
  • Transparency
  • Work life Balance and Flexibility

How does this generation change the office? As the first generation to grow up with the Internet, they are used to having the answers at their fingertips instantly. They have far less patience for tedious workplace processes and the office hierarchy than their predecessors.


Millenials have pushed for a more open office with honest communication and real-time feedback from their colleagues and supervisors. Employers are listening. We are seeing the cubicle walls come down moving to an open, clean and calm office layout. Some have gone even further than that- remember what Google offices look like…


Millennial’s also want flexible work environments, and again employers are listening. As a generation who has spent most of their lives using mobile phones and social media to communicate with friends and family, for them it is second nature to do so with their work colleagues also. Many employers offer flexible work hours and also offering the opportunity to work from home one or two days a week. This new freedom allows employees to work when and where they are most productive.


This type of flexible work environment with open collaboration now benefits workers of all generations. Bringing the different generations together is critical as each brings their own perspectives to the workplace. While these differences could cause some tension, they challenge everyone to learn from each other. In the end, the hope is that everyone can work to be their most productive self. Any way you look at it, that is better business.

Interested in having an open conversation about your business, insurance, or financial needs? Give us a call at McDougall today 1 . 800 . 361 . 0941.

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