The millennial generation is changing the workplace with a fast-paced, technology-infused, highly social approach to their careers, according to a professor from North Carolina State University.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about members of the Millennial generation in the workplace,” said N.C. State Practicum Professor Nancy Webster. “They are considered lazy, but they are not lazy. Far from it. They may appear to be disengaged or disrespectful, but that’s because they’re processing so much information. They may appear to be aloof, but that’s just their persona.”

Webster, whose career has included service as an executive in the textiles and retail industries, teaches in the N.C. State College of Textiles. Her work includes guiding students through studio exercises, including one sponsored during 2012 with Glen Raven’s Concept Gallery.

“Members of the millennial generation are highly intelligent and not afraid to challenge the norm and the status quo. They will challenge us to think differently and they will set a new standard of performance that is faster paced,” she said.

Companies that hire millennial generation workers, generally considered to be people born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s, should be prepared to offer them challenging assignments with rewards that include greater freedom and more generous time away from work.

“Millennials expect that others in the workforce will also be their friends,” she said. “They are great team members and look for a social environment.”