Millennials now make up the largest living generation. And while these people--roughly between the ages of 21 and 39--are certainly a diverse group, they do share some defining attributes. For one thing, they're a group 77 million strong which was the first to grow up with the Internet, cell phones and cable TV. In fact, according to Nielsen, Millennials rank their use of technology as the factor that most makes their generation unique. It's also changing how businesses are run, at least if you ask Dr. Antonis Papatsaras, artificial intelligence (AI) expert and chief technical officer at contract and document management company SpringCM. Here are his words on the four ways Millennials are changing the workplace using technology.

1. Millennials don't have patience for bureaucracy and use tech to streamline processes.

Often misinterpreted for being lazy, Millennials actually want efficiency at work. Their mindset: A process should not take multiple steps or require days to be routed through several channels. As such, they're embracing workflow automation. Things that used to take days can now be completed in a few clicks.

2. Millennials are treating tech like an employee.

With the popularity of wearables such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit activity trackers, Millennials are increasingly using AI assistants at work. Ben Brown, a designer, technologist and Millennial in Austin, Texas, used his technical prowess to string together various tech platforms to make a restaurant recommendation aggregator that mines apps like Slack, Twitter, Instagram, Dropbox, Foursquare and others for real-time status updates from nearby restaurants and food trucks. "Given the smorgasbord of tantalizing delights available to me in all directions, how am I supposed to choose where to eat lunch each day? This is a real problem... I need to not spend 2 hours every afternoon discussing with my coworkers what we're going to have," he writes in his blog. "Well, I am a software designer whose only hobby is writing code, so I did the only thing I could: I wrote some code." The experiment was so successful Brown created a company called Howdi.ai to enable people to make similar apps.

3. Millennials use technology to be able to work whenever from wherever.

With the mass adoption of workflow automation and communication channels like Slack, Hangouts and instant messaging, the Millennial employee doesn't need--or want--to be chained to a desk from nine to five. Flexibility, empowerment and the ability to work remotely are perks that younger workers value. They're also what will lure them to--and keep them at--a company.

4. Millennials are really good at personalizing their tech.

Employees are bombarded with notifications, emails, texts and calendar invites. Tech-saavy Millennials are good at customizing their apps, privacy settings and social media channels to optimize workflow, how they communicate with their others and even where they work.

Published on: Apr 26, 2017