In generational discourse, Millennials are often deemed as lazy and entitled by Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers. These labels, together with their digital savviness, often lead to the misconception that Millennials demand to work only according to their own rules and are unable to effectively communicate. However, editor-in-chief of MiLLENNiAL magazine Britt Hysen claims that 60% of Millennials actually identify as entrepreneurs. And they just may be the most successful modern generation yet.
Perhaps the negative labels imposed on them are skewed versions of the fact that Millennials are consistently turning what they are passionate about into business models that actually work and gain profit. Here, we will discuss some of the major ways Millennial entrepreneurs are transforming business practices for the better:
The popularity of coworking spaces
Millennials love coworking spaces, as these fulfil their need of having a shared economy that allows individuals to collaborate and network with one another, and share resources while they’re at it. The main draw of coworking spaces is their affordability. These days, Millennials are the main market for coworking spaces, so owners do keep this in mind when designing their membership plans. Coworking spaces ensure that the tiers make sense to both established entrepreneurs and young Millennials. Industrious details how flexible membership terms can help entrepreneurs grow at their own pace, whether they’re just starting out, growing their business, or expanding into new markets. The rise of coworking spaces championed by Millennials is changing business in ways our parents may never have thought possible. It's now normal to host professional meetings without renting a costly office, and networking in person is easier than ever before.
Gallup reports that over 50% of employees claim that they would switch jobs if they were promised flexible schedules. Flexibility and work from home options are decisive factors in an employees’ job choice. Millennials put a premium on having a reasonable work-life balance to allow for time spent meaningfully. Employee engagement is actually boosted when workers are able to divide their time working remotely – whether at home, at an aforementioned coworking space, or coffee shop and in a traditional office. The ideal arrangement is actually one that allows employees to spend 60–80% of their time working off-site. While this may have once seemed intangible, productivity channels and streamlined communication systems have made this possible.
Driven by innovation
Growing up alongside technology, it’s no surprise that Millennials have incorporated this into their work. The Capital One Small Business Growth Index gathered data showing that innovation is the primary driver of optimism among Millennials at 51%, compared to any other generation. Millennials heavily utilize new technologies like AI and machine learning in their own industries, allowing for enhanced efficiency through automation. This has allowed them to improve their processes and customer service. Customers now have the answers they need at any given time. The surplus of apps for every need also proves how being digital natives has benefitted more people than ever before – from ride-sharing services to grocery deliveries, and everything in between.
While some may still have a mouthful to say about Millennials, there’s no discounting the fact that they have changed the way businesses operate – for the better. From digitalization to sustainability, a restored work-life balance, to name but a few, you can only imagine what changes are coming next. But we can leave it to Millennials to surprise us – based on their track record, it’s sure to be revolutionary.