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How Digital Natives are Changing the Modern Workplace

It’s no secret that the workplace has changed substantially in today’s era of SaaS technology and mobile-first applications.

An influx of young professionals joining the workforce who have grown up using the internet, mobile devices, social media, and other modern technologies greatly affects the way businesses operate. This generation of “digital natives” fully expect their workplace to adopt the latest and greatest in technology. And businesses that do not encourage modernizing the workplace will inevitably fall behind.

According to Citrix, almost 50 percent of workers today consider themselves to be digital natives, and that number will increase to 75 percent by 2025.

Here are four ways digital natives are shaping the modern workplace.

1.   The Move to the Cloud

Digital natives were quick to embrace cloud computing technologies, and often advocate for their companies to switch from legacy on-premises technology to subscription-based cloud models.

Digitally-minded individuals have already been using the technology for years, storing their music, photos, and data in the cloud. It should follow, then, that their work is also stored in the cloud.

While migrating to the cloud is certainly easier said than done, companies face increased employee turnover and diminished productivity if they continue using legacy technologies. The benefits of digital transformation, therefore, far outweigh the challenges. The move to the cloud is inevitable for future-focused organizations.

2.  An Emphasis on Mobility

The ability to connect to the cloud and mobile apps has enabled workers to do their work on-the-go. Digital natives are finding that new opportunities to connect to their work allows for better collaboration and more effective paths for communication.

The workplace is no longer a place. Gone are the days when an employee works from 9 to 5 on their office desktop and simply unplugs after working eight hours. Digital natives work anywhere, any time, and on any device.

Mobility is hugely important to employees today, and companies must design their technology offerings accordingly.

3.  Social Media as a Business Tool

Digital natives have also introduced social media as a driver for business opportunities.

According to Pew Research, 68 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook regularly, with 51 percent checking the site multiple times per day. When digital natives joined the workforce about 10 years ago, they began to leverage the vast audience on social media to promote their companies’ brands and products.

Today, if a company does not establish a strong social media footprint, they risk missing out on a huge opportunity. An effective social media marketing strategy can help increase an organization’s brand awareness, improve customer engagement and satisfaction, and allow the company to establish their voice. Social media provides an accessible platform for direct communication between a company and a client and allows for a more human-centric approach to customer success and support.

4.  Operating With Agility

Young people are bringing about change to the workplace as they bring a fresh viewpoint and mindset to their work. They have the ability to come into a company unhindered by previous experience with legacy technologies and provide new solutions to modernize business processes and drive a truly digital workplace.

Many employees are now following their young co-workers’ example. According to a recent Nintex study, 97 percent of employees report that they are likely to use new digital transformation-driven technology tools. This readiness to adapt to change and try new technologies like AI, machine learning, and intelligent automation will ultimately improve the employee experience.


As digital natives join the workforce, they bring with them a willingness to embrace technology as a driver of not just productivity, but also profitability. Organizations must adopt this mindset and plan for digital disruption in the modern workplace, or risk being left behind.


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Doug Lovelock

Douglas Lovelock is a student who joined Nintex as a sales intern in the summer of 2018 to gain experience in the workforce. He works out of the London office assisting our sales team with a variety of tasks, such as competitive analysis, market research, and sales administration.

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