Millennials Make Workforce Mobile

Sep 10, 2015 in Mobile, Retail

The millennial numbers continue to swell in the workforce, and more of them than ever are bringing their technology savvy viewpoint to the table. This generational shift in the workspace is producing many interesting side effects, including the rising mobility of the job environment. Nielsen found that over 85 percent of millennials own smartphones, indicating a significantly high familiarity with this technology. Generally, the millennial generation is more flexible and adaptable, so even if they aren’t immediately familiar with the technology used in your workplace, vast experience with personal devices will nearly eliminate the learning curve.

Skill Transfer

Most millennials use iOS or Android devices, so their level of familiarity is highest with technologies using those operating systems. To cut down on training time with mobile technology in the workplace, model your software after navigation or design conventions common in those systems.

Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) policies are another way to maximize skill transfer for the millennial generation. Most already have devices they’re happy and experienced with, so it makes sense to allow use in the work environment. While security concerns are an issue with BYOD, mobile device management and mobile app management help reduce inherent risk. With BYOD, you also lower your hardware and telecommunications costs, since you don’t have to purchase the equipment and may not need to pay for mobile service.

You may also consider Choose Your Own Device (CYOD), which gives millennials a list of pre-approved mobile devices to choose from. You bear the provisioning costs with this set up, but you also have greater control over the devices. Offering Android or iOS devices in the CYOD list likely helps to keep your workforce out of lengthy training.

App-Forward Generation

Additionally, millennials are often happy to use apps, which eases adoption of related technology such as cloud computing software. The app model is an accepted part of a technological experience, so it’s sensible in some instances to switch between several purpose-made apps to complete jobs. Cloud-based apps provide strong syncing between mobile users and a separate home base, allowing better collaboration and data quality. This infrastructure also cuts down on costs for your organization, since cloud-based services usually handle maintenance and upfront server investment.

While some BYOD working environments also give millennial employees free rein over app selection, the risk of malware, particularly with Android apps, is high. An alternative is an enterprise app store with a selection of pre-approved apps. The app store concept is already established with this generation, so it won’t seem out of the ordinary to allow employees to hand-pick their own apps.

The Mobile Advantage

The mobile advantage millennials bring to the table goes beyond their tech savvy characteristics. They enjoy flexible schedules and work-from-home perks, which mobility and cloud computing makes possible for your business. You can get employees on-site for mobile retail data collection, expand into new markets thanks to an already mobile workforce, and gain a reputation as a workplace that promotes a healthy work-life balance.

Millennials are a big help in transitioning a workplace from the tech dark ages to a fully mobile workforce, since you don’t have to spend substantial amounts of time training with mobile technology. BYOD and cloud apps help cut down on overhead costs, and the flexibility afforded by mobile increases productivity and enhances retail execution.