The Freedom Effect: What Employees Expect in the 21st Century

Recruiting, retaining and nurturing employees has never been more challenging. Businesses are constantly adapting to technological leaps and new ways of working, as well as addressing concerns over personal safety when travelling.

A new worker has emerged, one for who the focus is no longer just about money, location, or role, but also on culture, lifestyle, and balance. This new wave of millennial and Gen Z employees approaches a new role in a different way to older workers.

This is because they’ve grown up with technology, innovation and lightning fast ways of getting things done. And it’s all positive for them – there’s no downside. According to Deloitte, 49% percent of millennials believe new technologies will augment their jobs. 1

It might be no coincidence that 69% of CFOs say they’re finding it hard to fill vacant roles.2

Candidates tend to be innovative, mobile, technological and efficient, and they expect the same qualities of their workplace.

To meet these demands, you need to transform the workplace.

This means empowering employees with smart, automated solutions that help you become more profitable, more productive, and closer aligned to the needs of the new worker. We call this the “Freedom Effect.”

Always-On Technology

The culture of freedom dictates that technology enables anything and everything – and it always works. Anything clunky, sluggish or – worst case scenario – manual, will cause friction. Apps must be easy to learn, use and navigate.

The Smartphone IS the Office

Freedom for these workers means using a mobile phone for everything, in both the personal and work sphere. As well as managing their relationships, social lives and entertainment on their smartphone, they see no reason they can’t do the same with their working day.

Innovation Not Administration

We’re talking about a mobile-first expense system that frees employees from the purgatory of doing their expenses manually - as what busy Millennial has the time to do that?


These guys want consumer-grade business solutions that connect seamlessly with apps such as Uber of Airbnb. A1-powered tools that help business travellers find flights, book rooms and manage expenses without any disruption isn’t too much to ask in today’s world, is it?

Dynamic Itinerary

According to Global Business Travel Association, 73% of business travellers expect their company to proactively contact them within two hours of an emergency event. 3 Being able to immediately locate and alert staff members to incidents, and direct them to safety, is as important as an initial painless booking process. Even if there’s no drama – freedom to change itinerary quickly and without disruption is not only desirable, it’s expected.

Can you deliver on all five of these expectations? If you can’t, you risk younger employees taking their fresh, innovative skills to an organisation that does.

To find out more about how SAP Concur can help you meet the needs of the 21st century worker, download our Freedom Effect eBook.


1 The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019

2 Finance and accountancy salary and hiring trends, Robert Half, 2020

3 Business Travel Trends: GBTA Research Studies Booking Behaviour, Duty of Care and the Role of Technology



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