Millennial Careers: 4 Bad Habits that are Essential for Success
We’re all familiar with that moment of panic whenever we feel our boss standing behind us when Facebook is open. Or even the embarrassment and stress when we’re caught nodding off at our desks. But with the evolving nature of office culture, these ‘faux pas’ are starting to be encouraged… at least in some places. More and more companies are giving their employees more freedom to find their own method within their madness.
Much like that kid at school who was always goofing around but managed to ace the class, or that other quiet kid who also aced it without saying a word, we all function in different ways. And companies are starting to take this in stride, as the classic “don’ts” of office life turn into “dos”.
Browsing through our social media accounts on the clock used to be a sign of slacking. Now, it has become an increasingly large part of our jobs. Social media is now become a media marketing cornerstone in virtually all businesses, no matter how big or small.
The new potential for social media to increase a company’s web traffic by boosting SEO is unparalleled, allowing greater outreach and even more targeted marketing.
Not to mention, a social media presence’s ability to directly engage with consumers provides greater insight into the needs and concerns of individual customers, creating a more effective and efficient marketing approach.
Also, having fun on social media almost always leads to successful marketing. Denny’s is a prime example, as their unrehearsed, ‘un-corporate’, whimsical posts and responses resonate with their young demographic, making them a fan favourite.
Not showing up to the office
As more businesses expand overseas, and more people become “digital nomads”, the likelihood of getting the whole team in the same place at the same time isn’t as great as it once was.
Location independent work seems to be the wave of the future, with more companies focusing purely on an employees ability to produce great work, rather than how many hours they’ve spent, chained behind their desk at the office.
Apps are even being developed to help employees manage their location independence, particularly when it comes to focus. Nobody can deny that having your boss lurk around your desk makes you work just that much harder; but when you’re working from home, this focus is often lost. But apps like StayFocused, set timers to restrict your use of ‘time-wasting’ websites, when you said you’d be working.
At first glance, location independence appears to be purely for the benefit of the employee. It gives us the freedom to find a work-life balance that makes sense to us personally. However, the benefits this brings to productivity and efficiency are not to be underestimated.
Even from the recruitment stage, location independence provides an edge, by widening the pool of candidates. With fewer constraints due to location and time zone, companies are able to hire the most ideal candidate, rather than just the most convenient one. Not to mention, the attached increase in employee satisfaction leads to a lower turnover rate, saving both time and money long term.
It’s no secret that people are more productive at different times of the day; and with location independent work, employees are able to work according to their own needs, maximising their productivity.
Plus, let’s not forget about not having to face rush hour traffic during the dreaded commute.
Talking back to your boss
This is a slightly more delicate one, but still not one that should be ignored.
Particularly in ‘startup culture’ where there are less employees and smaller teams, companies are demanding more of their employees; making them wear multiple ‘hats’, rather than sticking to narrow job descriptions. This often means employees are expected to take a more holistic approach to their work, keeping the bigger picture in mind, but while maintaining a critical mindset.
Respectful communication is clearly vital in this context, but nowadays, employers would rather have a team that is critical, and willing to voice their disagreements (albeit in a polite manner), rather than employees that blindly follow instructions and tell their superiors what they want to hear.
Sleeping on the job
We’ve all fantasised about having ‘nap time’ like we did during kindergarten, but for more and more employees, this is becoming a reality. Companies are beginning to recognise the added benefits of napping in increasing not just productivity, but quality of work.
Prominent names such as Google, Uber, and even NASA, have implemented sleeping in the work place, by installing high-tech ‘nap pods.’ These contraptions are complete with relaxing music systems and a gentle alarm to ease employees out of their slumber, to help them recharge.
Studies have shown that recharging through a power nap allows you to regain focus, when your attention span may have been lacking. Research has even gone as far as claiming that a nap is more effective in restoring energy than caffeine. Not to mention, it also benefits short-term memory by consolidating new information.
Ultimately, office culture is evolving rapidly and becoming more creative and nuanced in its methods of increasing worker productivity. More companies are beginning to recognise the diverse ways in which employees operate, and are adapting their methods to optimise these differences to their/ the employees’ advantage, so everybody wins.
Image source: Magomed Magomedagaev