I’m standing in my kitchen. I’m not cooking anything and I’m not getting something out of the fridge. I’ve got my a 24-inch monitor plugged into my laptop, a mouse (and mouse pad, to boot!), a headset, and my cell phone (providing the internet connection). I’m also dialed into a call on my phone, responding to a text, and scrolling Instagram (for business reasons!). Think this is the future of work? Pssshh… I just call it “working.”
For the past few years, there have been a overwhelming amount of blogs, conferences, and videos detailing what the workplace will look like when digitally-native millennials enter the workforce. ::Spoiler Alert:: They already have. Ten years ago. It may be more accurate to say this demographic of young adults won’t be physically entering anything or anywhere – they will just start working.
I know this because I am one. One of those. A Millenial, that is. They call us lazy, entitled, and narcissistic. No comment on how accurate those claims actually are, or how malleable those definitions can be in order to fit the will of the describer. I have some friends I would describe by those traits above and I’ve been known to hit all three – sometimes simultaneously! But seriously, what do we know about this over-achieving, yet laid back, entitled, yet hard-working, selfish, yet philanthropic, generation? We are avid users of digital, we expect the best quality experience in everything we do, and we are disappointed when the seamless user experience we’ve become so accustomed is not easily duplicated in our work environment.
The expectation of freedom of usage, partnered with the security and support challenges that come along with it, has led to a shift in IT priorities that President of Aruba Networks, Dominic Orr, calls, “Entsumerism.” This ubiquitous, all access network has gone from a perk to a necessity. With HP’s acquisition of Aruba earlier this year, their goal is to bring forward a unified approach to attack the new access network that will serve the “GenMobile” workplace.
Aruba and Orr coined the term GenMobile and define it as “a new population of worker that demands the superior user experience on the consumer side be brought into the workplace.” In Orr’s opinion, the traditional workplace is not set up to support this freedom of usage and the main challenge is to do so without compromising corporate security.
This challenge is only going to grow hairier by the quarter. By the end of 2015, Millennials are set to take over Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the U.S. The takeaway here is to urge my fellow Millenials to tender our expectations with a little patience. As witnessed at HP Discover and across the industry, this monumental shift to support the GenMobile-style of working is of highest priority. So, remember to thank your IT guys once in a while and know that the future of work is now. And, if you’ve made it this far through the blog, you should probably get back to it.