UXBRIDGE -- Xerox-commissioned research into workplace trends reveals that a new generation of workers born since 1980 – the Millennials – is forcing the pace of change in the workplace.
The study, undertaken by Forrester Consulting, ‘Is Europe Ready for the Millennials?’, shows that although the vast majority of European executives say they recognise that young workers interact and use technology in a different way to previous generations and have responded to their needs, the findings tell a different story. It emerges that few businesses have implemented the new tools or collaborative culture needed to allow this generation to flourish and for them to benefit from the Millennials’ approach and experience.
The research was carried out among more than 1,600 business executives across 16 European countries, with in excess of 260 responses from the UK. Its results indicate that key business areas – such as employee working methods, as well as customer, supplier and partner collaboration and processes – are neglected and do not meet the needs of a generation that will represent a greater proportion of the workforce by 2010 than people born just after World War II.
It shows that while large numbers of companies in the UK provide their workforce with the basic tools, such as unrestricted use of paper printing (68 percent), mobile phones (41 percent) and laptop PCs (37 percent), only a small minority offer the newer, Millennial-friendly collaborative working tools, such as web-casts, blogs, video conferencing, or remote access to the internet or email. Only 44 percent of UK executives say they currently collaborate online with their suppliers and partners for product and service development, and as many as 59 percent said they have no plans to post information on community sites or blogs.
Russell Peacock, Managing Director, Xerox UK says: “The Millennials will drive a revolution in the way products and services are chosen, developed and procured. Customer endorsements on blogs and forum sites such as Dooyoo and The Motley Fool will become very important and suppliers and partners will need to be able to work collaboratively online on every aspect of a product or service’s development and delivery. Organisations in the UK need to start embracing the Millennial way of working in order to keep up with the way their customers and partners want to do business.”
Xerox believes the Millennials will have a significant impact in many areas where its own consultancy and product strengths lie – particularly in the streamlining of business processes, collaboration, knowledge management and information sharing.
Peacock continues: “Millennials expect information that is both accessible and productive. They expect automated customisation and updating; they expect it to communicate content in the most effective way - incorporating a mix of text, film, music, and links, as appropriate. We already enable this through a number of our applications, such as DocuShare, a web-based document and content management system that allows collaborative working and supports Web conferencing and features such as blogs and wikis.
“But we think Millennials will be asking for even more intelligent documents, and for automated re-formatting and editing of information. Our research and development teams always have these objectives firmly in mind for the future.”
Xerox believes organisations’ failure to recognise the importance of the Millennial way of working has bred a misplaced confidence that they are ‘Millennial friendly’ and have adapted their workplaces to meet the needs of different worker generations.
Xerox markets a comprehensive range of Xerox products, solutions and services, as well as associated supplies and software. Its offerings are focused on three main areas: offices from small to large, production print and graphic arts environments, and services that include consulting, systems design and management, and document outsourcing.
Xerox also has manufacturing and logistics operations in Ireland, the UK and Holland, and a research and development facility (Xerox Research Centre Europe) in Grenoble, France. For more information visit, www.xerox.com
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