The Evolution of the Employee

Kudos to the organizations that are allowing their employees to evolve!

According to a recent article in Forbes, “There is no longer a need for most employees to work from an office or to work 9-5.”  Rather, there exists the “idea of flexible work, that is working anytime, anywhere, and being evaluated not by how many hours you sit in a chair but by what you produce.”

The trusty old 9 to 5 isn’t what it used to be, and nor are today’s employees.  Times change.  How many times have we heard that?  An inordinate amount of times.  But over the years, the Boomer generation inhabited the notion of the 9 to 5 workday.    Once one finished schooling and made their way into the workforce, boom!  Their day consists of working.  In a corporate office.  From 9am until 5pm that evening.  That’s just the way it is (or “was,” I should say).  As the Boomers are still roaming the earth (in a good way of course) and Millennials are continuously being welcomed into the workforce, a substantial change has been taking place.  The nature of the employee has been evolving. 

Millennials are often assumed to be, or viewed as “more selfish” than the Boomer generation.  Perhaps it’s true.  They hold their personal time in a place very close to their heart, and thrive on a flexible work schedule.  Who can blame them though?  What’s the big deal about working from 7 to 11, then hitting the gym until 12:30, then hopping back on the computer at 1, and then working on projects and talking with clients off and on until 6 or 7?  The “new” employee works anytime of day, whenever it’s convenient, or simply whenever they want to get work done.  It may seem like a conceited way to go about things, but productivity is extremely high with how these “new” employees are using their time.  And that’s just it!  They are using their time wisely, being more productive than ever, and making time for the things that they enjoy doing.  They might have to take their daughters to soccer practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a certain time, and thus they sacrifice a bit of their time to do so.  On the other end of that, they might start their work day earlier, or cram in some work after the kids have gone off to dreamland that night.  

Something else to consider, is that many Millennials don’t just have one job.  Many have two or three gigs going at a time, which easily take up a full day.  Some of those jobs might fall on a Saturday or Sunday, giving them a day off during the normal workweek.  Totally unorthodox, right?  Wrong.  The evolution of the employee focuses on being able to work anywhere, at anytime, from any device, and stresses the importance of outputs rather than inputs.  Why hoard information, when you can share it?  Why lack a voice, when in fact, you can become a leader?  Why climb the corporate ladder when you can create your own ladder?   

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