The latest generation to enter the workforce - the Millennials - is believed to have a great impact on future working life. A new study from Ericsson ConsumerLab shows that Millennials think personal communication during work hours is a right not a benefit. Young professionals have high expectations to stay connected at work and have different expectations on communication tools and work life in general.

A new study from Ericsson ConsumerLab called "Young professionals at work" looks at the latest generation to enter the workforce: the Millennials. In particular the focus has been on working Millennials aged 22-29 in the US, who have a college education and who are ambitious, forward-looking and see themselves as taking on leadership positions in the future.

Who are they, what’s their ideal company like and what are their attitudes and behavior and in particular their affiliation with communication and technology?

Some important findings of this report are that Millennials bring a good deal of their personal lives into work; however, they do not necessarily allow work to enter their private lives. Though they are keen to perform well at work, it is virtually impossible for them to leave their personal lives behind, as they typically check Facebook, engage in instant messaging and send and receive texts on their devices throughout the day. This is seen as a right rather than a benefit.

Ann-Charlotte Kornblad, Senior Advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab, says "They want close relationships with their supervisors, and expect frequent feedback. They dislike ambiguity and expect transparency and fairness in all their dealings with work organizations. A key factor for many Millennials is keeping a balance between work and leisure time and they expect that employers to come up with solutions to help them achieve this."

As many as 45 percent of Millennials use their private phones, which they pay for themselves, at work. This means that they also pay for work-related use of their phones. Today, 23 percent of Millennials have mobile phones (mostly a smartphones) that are fully or partly paid for by their employers.

Finally, Millennials are impatient. As part of the Facebook generation, they want instant gratification. This gives them a low tolerance for modes of communication that are slow or do not provide immediate feedback.

The ideal company, in the eyes of the Millennial, offers the following:

  • generally satisfying work
  • be able to carry their personal lives into work (be able to multitask)
  • goal oriented – activity based, your own responsibility when and where you work.
  • the opportunity to work in teams and with others in their own age
  • a flat organization
  • engaged, pro-active manager
  • clear directions/promotional prospects – constant feedback
  • transparency
  • respect for work/life balance
  • close relationship with the manager
  • up-to-date technology, especially in the area of communication

For the purposes of this report, Ericsson ConsumerLab conducted qualitative interviews with 64 individuals aged 22-29 in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Interviews were conducted with eight people in management positions who are responsible for younger employees, and four interviews with experts on the millennial generation.

Further to this, ConsumerLab has carried out an online study of 1,945 respondents between the ages of 22 and 65.This sample represents online US knowledge workers. Of this group, 479 are classed as Super Millennials, as referred to in this report.

Read the report

Notes to editors

About Ericsson ConsumerLab

Ericsson ConsumerLab gains its knowledge through a global consumer research program based on interviews with 100,000 individuals each year, in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities – statistically representing the views of 1.1 billion people. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are used, and hundreds of hours are spent with consumers from different cultures.

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