04/09/2015

By Craig Daniel, VP of Product at join.me by LogMeIn

Keeping the workforce happy has always centred on effectively managing the work life balance, enshrined by the 9 to 5 working day. Despite this, as many as 40% of today’s under 35s would gladly take a pay cut if it meant they could work outside of the conventional 9 to 5 parameters, according to join.me’s latest Mobile Usage Survey.

For businesses, breaking the boundaries of the 9 to 5 certainly makes sense. It allows leaders to think more flexibly about the way they use available resources and measure success more by the value employees add rather than the time they are in the office. This is a far more productive structure and opens up the labour pool to people who can’t meet the demands of a 9 to 5 pattern.

Challenging previous assertions about the dangers of regularly allowing staff to work after hours, millennials aren’t into the old-fashioned “status quos” of the workplace. In the next ten years we expect that millennials will use their second-nature technological expertise and thirst for innovation to obtain leadership positions and get rid of the barriers that have kept people from collaborating successfully with a combination of software, electronics, Wi-Fi and ingenuity.

Whilst the scenario might still feel quite distant, we’re already living in office environments where these behaviours are influencing when employees turn up in the mornings and leave at night. So when it comes to closing up at the end of the day, here are three things to keep in mind before you call for everyone to grab their coats:

1. They are often some of the most aspirational workers

According to research, more than half of the Mobile Useage Survey respondents aspire to become the leader or most senior executive within their current organisation.

Motivated by autonomy, these employees expect to be available for work 24/7, taking full advantage of their familiarity with new technologies and an ‘always on’ environment to make the impact they want.

2. Most already text their colleagues and bosses

The join.me survey indicates 60% of respondents text with their bosses and 81% with other colleagues, suggesting a desire to merge work and private life to achieve a balance on a more 24/7 basis. They are also very confident in their ability to respect professional boundaries over social media.

3. They find an ‘always on’ lifestyle entirely natural

Today's workers are collaborating while on-the-go, and are very accustomed to living in a world of constant communication where rigid boundaries have yet to be drawn. They know how and when they are at their most productive and expect the workplace to respect and adapt to that now they have the tools to enable this. It comes as no surprise that business executives under 35 hold 52% of their external meetings online, rather than face to face.

Spontaneity and technology will play increasingly vital roles in the way individuals and teams connect, share ideas and bring products to market. As a business it’s important to pull back any and all barriers to this process.