What do millennials want in the workplace?

Millennials now make up around 35% of the workforce (Source: Open Access Government). This group is generally characterized as those born from 1981 to 1996. As with every generation, they have their own expectations of their employers. Employers are asking: what exactly are those expectations? We are here to tell you… we found out!

We asked a couple of our local millennial business owners, how their workplaces have (and will) evolve to cater to the changing workforce demographic. Here is what they had to say:

Have you done anything in your business that caters to millennials?

Here at the agency we offer Flexible Time Off. As long as there is ample notice and there are other team members at the office to take care of our customers they are allowed to take off. One of the reasons I got into this career is because of the flexibility that it offers and being able to spend time in the community or with my family. I personally don’t think I should be the only one that gets to take advantage of that.

– Doug Otto, Owner, American Family Insurance – Douglas Otto Agency

Speaking from your own experience, what is most important in the workplace for millennials?

We encourage strong values in participation. We want our employees to take pride in what they are doing. We want to give them some creative freedom AND take ownership of the position and the “product” they are making. I think these ideas are important when catering to millennials — and everyone in my opinion — to maintain interest in a job… even if it’s just serving burgers and fries! It’s a simple exchange in business that can make both sides of the transaction extremely happy after it is completed… or watching it be completed when you serve food!

– Quinten Rice, Owner, Q Entertainment; Co-Owner, JQ’s on High; Co-Owner, Avenue HQ; Partner, Stitt-Barony

How do millennials’ needs differ from other generations’ needs?

The way that they communicate. I know many people think that we are just on our phone scrolling social media, but in reality, that is how we communicate and conduct business. Individuals are now able to utilize their social network and collaborate with others like no other time in history.

– Doug Otto

How do you imagine the workplace will evolve globally in, say, 10 years as millennials will comprise the majority of the labor force and upper-level managers?

Computers will take over your position if you aren’t skilled at SOMETHING. Technology will take over but I believe millennials will have to constantly find a way to adjust to be relevant. We will need to find more ways to introduce young people into the work field, find interest and find a purpose. There will be an increased need for skilled labor.

– Quinten Rice


  • The term “millennial” was coined as children born in the early eighties were becoming school age and would be linked to the impending new millennium as the high school graduating class of 2000.
  • 27% of employers allow their employees to work from home. (Source: Softchoice)
  • Since 2005, the number of people who work from home has increased by 140%. (Source: Global Workplace Analytics)

young professionals Survey

We surveyed a group of millennial young professionals about their workplace needs and this is what they said.