The future of work isn’t sitting in individual cubicles slaving away from nine to five. It’s going to be in co-working spaces and remotely. Already, 38 percent of Millennials do freelance work—a number that’s more than likely going to increase. Lack of flexibility in their schedules was a one of the top reasons why Millennials leave their jobs. Freelancing is perfect for this generation.
Co-working spaces give us the flexibility that we crave, while also providing the feeling of belonging to a community and connecting with other workers. You have the incentive of other people working to get you to work, while at home you might have troubles making yourself do things. They offer the perfect balance.
I’m working remotely in a co-working space from Seoul, myself. Hive Arena boasts that it’s the coolest co-working space in Seoul—and they’re probably right. It’s welcoming, friendly and has everything you could ever want from an ideal co-working space. The physical location even provides free beer. It doesn’t really get better than that.
Wanting Flexibility Doesn’t Mean We Don’t Want To Work
In fact, it’s basically the opposite. Millennials really blend their work and personal lives together. We want a job that’s fulfilling because we blend so much. We’re willing to work weird hours as long as we get what we want out of a job. If a Millennial has flexibility and a work environment that works for them, you’ll get the best work out of us.
Millennials tend to pick up extra jobs on the side, too. The share economy is a big deal, and services like Uber and Lyft let us pick up a bit of extra cash whenever we have some free time. We’re adept to multitasking due to the amount of technology we’ve always had at our fingertips, so juggling multiple jobs isn’t a problem.
Instead of formal internships, a lot of Millenials use freelance work to hone their skills and develop new ones, all while getting paid. A lot of internships out there don’t provide payment, so this gives us an opportunity to work in the real world gaining experience without taking a hit in pay. Plus, a college student can often continue doing freelance work during the semester. They’re gaining work experience while getting their education, giving them a chance to get ahead.
We’re Used To Co-living Already
Co-working is where we’re most comfortable. Probably because we’re already co-living. Our generation is less concerned with owning material possessions like houses, and more about the experiences. Co-living gives us experiences with other people, like potluck dinners and other activities with the other people in the shared living space. Being around a community of people with a similar mindset allows everyone to nurture and support each other. It’s good for the mind.
Co-working just extends this practice to the workforce. The people in the workspace are great to bounce ideas off of and to get different perspectives on what you’re working on. You can have people in the same workspace that are all working in different disciplines and for different companies. You can get unique input from them that you wouldn’t be able to get if you were home alone or sitting in a cubicle.
Co-working spaces can also be in a variety of places. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to shake things up and get some new ideas flowing. They can provide new inspiration. The various people that you’ll meet at each space help too. You’re always going to be with someone different and it only takes one different person to be able to spark the idea you were looking for.
This also works for a co-workspace that specific to one company. When you have everyone from different departments mingling together, you can come up with ideas that never would’ve been thought of otherwise. If everyone is separated in certain departments and at their desks, it’s discouraging the communication and idea flow that could be happening.
Millennials are used to being in constant communication with people at all times of the day. With smartphones and the millions of apps, we’re talking to people all over the world all the time. Being able to communicate freely in the workplace comes naturally to us. We’re already prepared for the future of working with other people in a collaborative environment.
The future of work is in an environment where Millenials thrive. They’re prepared for—and are and are one of the main reasons why—the landscape of the workplace is changing. The days of cramped offices and standard shifts will soon be a thing of the past. This gives Millenials a chance to show the world what they’re capable of and to take the professional world by storm.