Millennials:The end of the traditional office?!
I was born in 1983 so that makes me an older millennial (M). I always thought of Ms as younger than me – and I do think there is quite a difference between an old M and a young one. I can remember what life was like pre-technology, well pre decent technology anyway! I remember using a tape to load a BBC computer to play Space Invaders, I remember phoning my friends on a landline and asking their parents to speak with them. I remember the HUGE embarrassment when a boy phoned for me and my dad answered the phone! I remember life pre-texting when you arranged a time and place to meet and there was no texting to change it or warn the other person you were running late. In fact I remember my mum telling me the story where my dad and her had arranged to meet up in the very early days of dating in the ‘70s in London. They arranged to meet by a tube station, but that station had 2 different exits and they were waiting at different exits… I might never be here if that hadn’t worked out!
Anyway, it fascinates me when I see the difference between the generations and the impact technology has had on the different ages. I see my 15 month old son already trying to use my iPhone and wonder if coding will just be another language for him and he’ll think of us as the way we think of someone who can’t use a smartphone… antiquated!
M’s are known for being ‘entitled’ – it sounds negative but I think it’s just been written by older people with an undertone of negativity and actually jealousy because we have so many opportunities now that just weren’t available to the older generations. Why wouldn’t they be jealous. We have the technology to ‘have it all’ in a way that simply wasn’t possible even 10-15 years ago. We can work wherever and whenever and still get the job done as well as anyone sitting at a set desk for a set time. In fact, research shows that when employers support flexible working, productivity increases massively. I don’t see it as being entitled but as ‘pushing the envelope’ – wanting to change things for the better – not just accepting the status quo. Because why? Why shouldn’t we do things differently? Technology is changing SO QUICKLY I feel I can’t even keep up sometimes. Therefore, the way we work also needs to change. If the way we work changes, then our whole lives and structure of society could change.
Now we really have all the tools at our finger tips to get rid of gender inequality and the pay gap because employers can enable shared parental leave and flexible working and short-term contracts to fill the gaps where needed.
Soon Millennials will be 75% of the workforce, and I believe there will be a mass flexible working movement and the end of the traditional office as we know it. More and more co-working spaces are springing up which is great, but what about co-playing for the kids in a more flexible way than traditional nurseries?
This is what Mumming is here for- I believe you shouldn’t have to completely separate parenting from your work life- I would love to take my son with me to the ‘office’ and drop him into his area to play while I head off to my area to work. I currently have to drive at least 30 minutes each way to a nursery- while I listen to audio books so the time isn’t lost, I would prefer not to do this every day, and I’d love to bring him with me to work.
What do you think? Is it time for a new way of working where it’s more of a community centre – co-working space, plus café, plus nursery, plus pre-school all in one, or the same campus? Is it time for the end of the daily grind?