Keys to the workplace of tomorrow? Flexibility and autonomy

Posted On February 12, 2020

What will the workplace of the future look like? To answer that, perhaps we should look at the trends that have shaped the workplace of today.

In the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” two members of Mobile Bay Monthly’s “Forty Under Forty” shared their ideas about what’s important in a workplace, and what they wish older generations could understand about the millennial workforce. Corey James, is Director of Operations for Innovation PortAL, a startup incubator in Mobile, and Cullen Millsap is a vice president of Legal Imaging, which provides digital forensics and eDiscovery for the legal field.

They seemed to agree that two primary things millennials are looking for are flexibility and autonomy.

“The workplace has become more fluid,” Millsap said. “I can work while I’m at lunch. I can work while I’m at home. A lot of this stuff can be done remotely. You don’t have to be sitting in an office or a cubicle.”

James said what level of flexibility and autonomy companies choose to give their employees obviously will depend on its needs and culture. Not every company, for instance, will think it prudent to do away with its vacation policy, as some have. But millennials are looking for work situations that allow them to take ownership of their roles in the operation, James said, and do their jobs in the way that best suits them.

“I think it optimizes efficiency and productivity,” he said. “I have a six-week-old child and being able to work at 4 a.m. right after I do a night-time feeding is actually really valuable for me.”

James and Cullen discuss the balance between the convenience of working remotely and the desire to foster collaboration in an office setting, the relative values of a liberal arts degree or a military background in today’s workplace, how views toward retirement are changing, how they expect technology to change the workplace, and why today’s employees have ample opportunity to pursue outside interests, or even a “side hustle.”

Join us for an enlightening discussion about the evolving workplace, and where it might go from here.

FYI, Mobilian Brooks Conkle offers insights and opportunities to flexible and self-driven workplaces on his website, which you can find here.

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