Understanding How Millennials Use Their Time

Is it time to rethink the 9-to-5 workday?

Summary
Transcript

How do you measure productivity? Is it based on the number of hours spent at a desk or on output? Crystal Kadakia, author of The Millennial Myth, analyzes how millennials spend their time and challenges the 9-to-5 work model.

“What really drives productivity today?” asks Crystal. “What structure of time and environment is going to drive that? For millennials, they've studied and worked anywhere, anytime. They're attached to their phones and their laptops, and they've already experimented with this.”

Watch the video to learn how millennials use their time to be their most productive self and begin questioning practices that may be inhibiting your team members.

When you think about why people think of millennials as lazy, the most common behaviors I hear is, "Well, they want to leave exactly at 5 p.m. They're always looking at the clock. They want flexible work arrangements." Those things are benefits. You get them when I trust you. You get them later on. Those are rewards.

So the behavior we're seeing is that millennials are wanting flexible work. They have kind of a different perception of time than what we may have thought of as working hard in previous generations. So that's the behavior.

Now, there's multiple interpretations of it. For a previous generation, that may appear to be lazy. From a millennial perspective, what they're thinking is, "Hey, this may not be the most productive way to work, staring at my computer for eight hours straight. Maybe what's more productive is for me to go and take a break, because this is how I've worked and studied my whole life, and I know what works for me. I know that what's most productive isn't necessarily staring at my computer for eight hours, but could be going for a walk, going to the gym at 2:00 every day. That's what works for me. And when I come back, I'm on fire. And isn't that what you would want?"

And so when you think about where we even got to 9-to-5, it actually comes from the manufacturing world and the assembly line. The questions is: Are we still working in that manufacturing assembly line environment today? Can we measure our productivity based on the time we put in? If I spend more hours at the computer, does that mean that I'm actually producing more work?

And again, when you think about how this is really about digital transformation, that's the question we need to ask as corporate leaders. What really drives productivity today? What structure of time and environment is going to drive that? Because for millennials, they've studied and worked anywhere, anytime. They're attached to their phones and their laptops, and they've already experimented with this. So yeah, it's a place where we can learn from them.
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Crystal Kadakia

Crystal is a lauded speaker, author, thought leader, and consultant for Millennials and the modern workplace. As the founder of Invati Consulting, her expertise is in driving the connection between Millennial behavior and the design ...

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