Millennials at work: Tech is more important than free lunch and ping pong

Dell and Intel claim that employees want better workplace technologies and will shun jobs with outdated tools.
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

Millennials will leave jobs that use technologies "not up to their standard", and they prefer to have "high-tech perks" rather than free food and ping pong, according to a global survey commissioned by Dell and Intel.

The Future Workforce Study questioned almost 4,000 employees in 10 countries working at various sized businesses. It found:

- Almost half of global employees believe their current workplace is not smart enough, while 42 percent of millennial employees say they are willing to quit their job if office technologies are not up to their standards.

- More than 50 percent of employees expect to be working in a smart office in the next five years.

- More than 80 percent of millennials say workplace tech would have an influence when deciding to take a job.

- Half of all employees and three out of five millennials believe technology will make face-to-face conversation obsolete in the near future.

- More than 60 percent of millennials would rather receive high-tech perks at work versus low-tech perks like ping pong and free food.

Read more here: http://www.dell.com/workforcestudy

Foremski's Take: Asking millennials what they want at work is a pointless exercise, because as we all know, when you are young, job choices aren't abundant, and in your first jobs, you do what you are told to do with the tools available.

And as for millennials wanting better technology at work, such as "augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and Internet of Things (IoT) than low-tech perks like ping pong, free food, etc," I detect the cynical response of the mischievous millennial mind.

The study does have a spattering of insights, but it comes across as very self-serving for Dell and Intel to drum up sales for more tech products. And it is disingenuous to portray the opinions of a tiny number of millennials -- a demographic with the least work experience -- as experts on workplace technologies.

Millennials predicting technology will soon make face-to-face conversations obsolete in business is an example of the lack of work experience in this survey group.

Marketers love to say that millennials are "born digital", but that doesn't mean "born knowing all digital technologies". It just means they are a little faster at learning game player controls and user interfaces -- workplace productivity is the sole responsibility of the employer.

Workplace technologies that deliver high productivity boosts will succeed -- regardless of what employees want.

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