The generation coined “millennials” has finally taken over the world of business, says Douglas Battista. And while many traditionalists believe these tech-savvy-social-media-loving young adults walk around with a silver spoon in one hand and a trophy in the other, today’s 20-somethings are more able and adaptable than they are given credit for.
Q: Who are the millennials?
Douglas Battista: Generally speaking, a millennial is an individual born between the mid-1980s and the mid-2000s.
Q: How are they different from other generations?
Douglas Battista: Millennials are the first generation to grow up with technology as we know it today. Even persons born in 1980 remember rotary phones and console TVs that were large enough to be a piece of furniture. This group is (for now) the most comfortable with technology and thinks very little about how iPhones and tablets changes the world. For them, having access to information 100% of the time is normal. Millennials also tend to believe in avoiding most face-to-face interactions, opting to put “pointless” meeting time to better use solving problems or simply getting things done.
Q: But isn’t a human connection the most important part of doing business?
Douglas Battista: Face time with colleagues and clients is certainly important. It’s just that millennials believe they can be of better service actually doing something for their customers vs. talking about doing something.
Q: How important is work/life balance to millennials?
Douglas Battista: Actually, millennials don’t seem focus on balance, per se’. Instead, they look at life overall and accept that work, recreation, alone time, and social activities are each a part of their day. To them, it isn’t really a balancing act, it’s more of a cushion of activity that’s just there. This is partly due to the fact that millennials can work from just about anywhere…they can close a deal from a beach chair just as well as they can from the office. Work and home are more or less seamless.