The Beautiful Death of the 9 to 5

Managers think that employees want money. And we do. But in 2015, there is much more to a satisfying job then a high salary.

Millennials, known for our narcissism and money-driven consumerism, have more on our minds when it comes to jobs than ever before. We want to work where we want, when we want, and how we want. With the domination of mobile and telecommunication technology in recent years, we now have more freedom to integrate our careers with the other pillars of lives.

Most of all, we’re learning that the 9-to-5 hours do not fit the digital age.

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Alright that’s a butt-ton of graphs but you get the point. Photo: Olu Eletu.

While not everyone can make money by doing what they love, we have a seen a rising emphasis on the pursuit of meaningful work. The freelancelifestyle is becoming easier to attain due to the surplus of tech-driven supplemental income that provide flexible hours. Think — an Uber driver and Etsy shop owner can provide the time and money needed to work on passion projects + still feel secure.

Millennials have become the largest demographic of on demandworkers. According to a recent study by the Freelancers Union, we make up 34% of the total USA workforce. We are creative, adaptable and entrepreneurial — the freelance lifestyle melds beautifully with who we are. Believe it or not, our qualities are now defining work values.

So, why is the office becoming obsolete? Cant one be given flexible hours and unlimited vacation and be satisfied?

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The millennial cubicle. Photo: Breather.

Companies such as Netflix and Virgin are adapting a freedom and responsibility trust policy that allows employees to schedule their own vacation days, essentially putting the control in the employees hands. This is a major shift in how success is measured.

Newsflash —employees can be evaluated on performance, not presence. Systems such as ROWE (results-only work environment) are being introduced to create output work cultures.  So now, the idea of hard work and dedication no longer correlates to long hours. Instead, we can ask the simple question, have I achieved my goals?

According to the Wall Street Journal, office workers are interrupted or self-interrupted every 3 minutes. And once interrupted it can take 23 minutes or more to get back on track. Commutes and juggling emails, instant messages, meetings, calls, and assignments all within an hour can be stressful. Plus, the moody co-worker in the cubicle next door is driving you crazy — productivity within the office is at an all time low.

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Creative director starter pack. Photo: Galymzhan Abdugalimov.

So, what does one do when they need a environment outside of the home to do work? No one wants to work where they sleep, shit where they type, take a conference call from the closet. Co-working spaces and mobile offices are becoming the answer to this dilemma. Co-working spaces provide a a space and community for like-minded individuals. A place outside of the house that is more affordable and inspiring then the traditional office.

Globalization, structural changes, mobile connectivity, and generational shifts have now enhanced the ability for people to travel and to harmonize other parts of their life within their professional world. As a generation, we are forcing systems and regulations devised during the Industrial Revolution to adapt. Plus, we are opening a new realm of diversity and innovation. We are able to work around the world sharing ideas and cooperating with others. Take a look at the global companies that enforce these principlesthey are succeeding.

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“Brb — making more coffee.” Photo: Jeff Sheldon.

Those on the run — wanting to rid the white walls and bull-pens, the cord phones and 30 min lunch hour — are looking to renovated RVs and hostel community rooms to harvest their ideas. We want to be in inspirational conditions, where the only sign of disturbance might be the loud sound of the waves or the buffalo crossing the highway. We realize, people can achieve their professional goals without feeling impatient or eager to be elsewhere.  

We know that this major shift comes from the rise of technology. Technology is ultimately there to get things done more efficiently. For our generation, this is all we know — its in our fabric. Technology and work are synonymous. We know how to work with it to create the most productive schedule for ourselves. This is what I call being narcissistic in the most methodical of ways.

As technology evolves, so does our thinking on how work can be done. That is why, as of 2015, we are writing the rules.

The idea of work is now a thing you do, not a place you go.