With all the technology boosts in the past couple of years, you could assume that offices have become the epitome of smart. We are not there yet—but we are getting close. We are rapidly moving into an era of smarter workplaces and millennials are pushing us closer and closer. A study completed by Penn Schoen Berland found that 82% of the Millennials interviewed say a techy office will sway their decision about taking a new career opportunity. And your free ping pong tables and snacks in the fridge? Another 58% of millennials prefer AR and VR over all of it.
What is the driving force behind it all? The saying, “work smarter, not harder” resonates with millennials in the workforce, placing a big emphasis on productivity. According to the same study, millennials are becoming dissatisfied with the technology used in their workplaces; technology that doesn’t stand a chance against what is in their home.
Want in on the secret? Here are six reasons why millennials are pushing for smarter workplaces with increased productivity.
Higher Level of Collaboration
In the study, 73% of Millennials stated that sharing tools were important to them. Tools such as video conferencing and virtual reality promise collaboration that can change the way workplaces facilitate business. The easiest way to sum up the view on collaboration in 2018? The more collaboration, the faster the work. Millennials are after the efficiency and productivity that cannot happen without these tools.
Millennials are also after the freedom that comes from working remotely while staying in the workforce. The benefits of remote work include decreased turnover, lower costs and increased productivity. Yet, the ability to work remotely will need to be accompanied by collaboration tools such as video conferencing, screen sharing and virtual meeting rooms to remain productive. Millennials are pushing for smarter workplaces wherever they are.
Out of the Box Training
We can make this literal: VR can take your employee out of their cubicle and into the heart of their training activities. The “out of the box” training that comes along with virtual reality is revered by 66 percent of the millennials interviewed during the study discussed above. Why? VR and AR will create training spaces for employees wherever they are, at any time. These tools will also create a training experience unlike anything else by providing true, hands-on training, even outside of the office.
Companies with smarter workplaces that offer new tools like AR and VR will fully embrace the digital transformation. Employees will be able to learn new tasks and information associated with new technologies that will be the future of work. Employees will be equipped with the knowledge and skills that will last for years to come. Upskilling and training are a critical part of a business’ future and millennials understand that need.
Virtual reality tools will benefit designers and those involved in the product creation process in many ways. Perhaps the most prominent is the ability to test and tweak a design prior to manufacturing, without the need for test models. Beyond this, employees are able to share that design with other employees from all over the enterprise, or even with consumers to receive proper feedback. This ability alone will save time and money when it comes to product development.
Faster and Better Breaks
Breaks throughout the day are a critical part of a productive workday. The magic of VR and AR can be seen here, by allowing employees to take breaks in the environment of their choice. Yes, this is a possibility. An employee given the ability to choose a break that fits their personality and motives will create a more productive employee when they return to work. Not to mention, the employee doesn’t have to leave the work environment completely to enjoy their break to the fullest. Perfect for locations that are not centralized, or employees that are under strict deadlines, the promise of a break during these circumstances is motivation enough.
Increased Privacy and True Focus
Just like the ability to take a break using VR, millennials want the ability to work in a way that is best for them. VR and AR both allow employees to experience true focus, in an environment that is productive for them. Some employees may choose to use their device to simulate a hammock in the breeze or the cool coffee shop downtown. Whatever they choose, you can bet they will be comforted by their surroundings, making work enjoyable again.
Employees are also able to wear VR devices for increased privacy. Sometimes, it takes being alone to figure out problems associated with business. And in a busy office space, where do you find solace? You can use a VR device to get away from it all.
No More Paper
The way a business office is organized has a true impact on productivity. Out of the millennials surveyed, 42% stated they would quit a job that was lacking in tech or had tech that was subpar. Offices that are still using paper filing methods and sticky notes are behind the times, a dangerous thing to be to attract these employees.
With VR and other collaboration tools, information can be accessed by touch, viewed and then filed away digitally. That one invoice from months ago can be brought onto the screen quickly, without searching through hundreds of paper files. The time it takes to do so is better spent on more important tasks.
The Future is Smarter Workplaces
The future is here and perhaps it’s time to listen to those entering and becoming a part of the professional workforce. Smarter workplaces will not only benefit millennials but will benefit the entire enterprise for years to come. With VR and AR still in their baby stage, we are sure to see exactly what they can do for business soon.
This article was originally published on Forbes.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.