As millennials began entering the workplace, everything began to change when it came to how companies communicate and collaborate. According to Pew Research Center’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, this generation, born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, makes up a majority of the American workforce. With millennials emerging as the dominant demographic in the business world, it has become more critical than ever for companies to attract and retain this talent pool. To truly tap millennials’ creative energy, it’s important to realize this generation has a much different view of how work should be done, and they come armed with a whole different set of expectations than their predecessors did.
Millennials Shoot for Better Collaboration
A 2014 PricewaterhouseCooper white paper noted that unlike previous generations, millennials work better in teams and prefer a collaborative environment. Baby Boomers and Gen-X’ers favored in-person meetings and face-to-face interactions involving as little technology as possible, while millennials stood on the other end of the spectrum with their love of everything tech. They value work flexibility and tend to be self-motivated, eschewing any type of micromanaging. These are just some of the many reasons why traditional workplace hierarchies are fast disappearing from today’s business space.
Most millennials also rely heavily on their personal devices, which isn’t hard to imagine since they grew up in a digital world of smartphones, tablets, social media, and YouTube. And because of their affinity for collaboration technologies, such as video chats, instant messages, and text, that they are always in touch with their friends, colleagues, and clients, from anywhere and at any time. This directly reflects how and why millennials look for seamless collaboration at work to remain productive.
Why Huddle Rooms Make Sense for Millennials
Unlike large, formal conference rooms, huddle rooms are small meeting spaces where more intimate groups can get together for quick discussions, meetings, and brainstorming. Huddle rooms are typically well-stocked with technology. They usually have display screens, interactive whiteboards, webcams, microphones, and phone systems in place to enable in room collaboration or with remote teams and global clients.
Huddle rooms are a good fit for the millennials’ work style since it allows them to hold meetings at a moment’s notice and offers a more intimate environment. Millennials have different expectations concerning work-life balance than other generations. They don’t want to commute back and forth to work when they can accomplish the same tasks from home or any other place with a Wi-Fi connection, giving them more time to devote to other aspects of their lives. An oDesk survey cited Forbes showed 92 percent of millennials want to work remotely and 87 percent of them prefer to work according to their own schedule, instead of the traditional 9-to-5 workday.
By allowing dispersed workers to communicate with those in the office easily and without the additional steps required to arrange formal meetings, huddle rooms encourage real-time discussions and help resolve problems on the spot. This informal, yet highly productive collaboration complements the millennials’ work style to a T.
Videoconferencing: A Huddle Room Essential
Videoconferencing is more commonplace in corporate communications across industries and according to many studies, millennials are one of the main drivers of this trend. A recent survey by Wainhouse Research revealed that 55 percent of conferencing managers are seeing an increasing demand for video deployments from younger employees. Another survey conducted in the U.K. found that 71 percent of employees favor video over audio conferencing, with the majority being next-generation team members.
Video plays a vital role in huddle rooms as it serves to bridge the gap between remote and in-house employees, making collaboration effective and efficient. Video communication fosters an environment where millennials can switch seamlessly between their work and social lives, while still staying connected, face to face, in real time. This marriage of millennials, videoconferencing, and huddle rooms in today’s business model offers the talent pool and technology needed for a modern organization to retain its competitive edge.