The Drum takes a look at the results of a global survey revealing the attitudes of young professionals with regard to social media in the workplace, access to remote working, and the importance of mobile devices. Amongst the findings is the revelation that 49% of respondents stated that they would rather lose their purse or wallet than their smartphone.
An international study commissioned by technology specialist Cisco has found that young professionals want an open environment that accommodates social media, device freedom, and remote working to accommodate their lifestyle; importantly, the study also highlighted that this group of people are willing to accept a lower salary in order to obtain a work environment that facilitates this.The study was commissioned to maintain its understanding of present-day challenges that companies face as they strive to assess the challenges that companies face as they strive to balance employee and business needs amid increasing network demands, mobility capabilities and security risks.The second annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report surveyed 1400 college students (18-23 years old) and 1400 young professionals (under 30 years old) in 14 countries: United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, India, China, Japan and Australia.The survey was translated into local languages and fielded in each country to gain approximately 100 completes for each subgroup per country.
The study revealed that one in three college students and young employees under the age of 30 (33%) said that they would prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer, indicating that the expectations and priorities of the next generation of the world’s workforce is not solely tied to money. Mobile networking, device flexibility, and the blending of personal and work lifestyles are key components of a work environment and culture that are increasingly important in determining which companies will land the next wave of industry talent. More than two of five college students (40%) and young employees (45%) said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
In reality, more than two of five employees (41%) said their companies marketed a flexible device and social media policy to recruit and attract them. Almost a third of the employees globally (31%) believe their comfort level with social media and devices was a factor in their hiring – an indication that companies acknowledge the value Millennials provide in utilizing technology to help companies’ efficiency and competitive advantage.
For those employees who are prohibited from accessing corporate networks and applications remotely, the top reason among employees is corporate policies (48%), including influence by corporate culture and resistance to enabling a more distributed communications culture. Despite this, employees are expecting greater work flexibility. At least one in four employees (29%) globally said the absence of remote access would influence their job decisions, such as leaving companies sooner rather than later, slacking off, or declining job offers outright.
The importance of devices and the information they carry rivals the importance of money. Half of college students and young employees (49%) said they would rather lose their wallet or purse than their smartphone or mobile device.
Four of five college students (81%) want to choose the device for their job – either receiving budgeted funds to purchase the work device of their choice or bringing in a personal one in addition to standard company-issued devices. About seven in 10 employees (68%) believe their companies should allow them to access social media and personal sites with their work-issued devices.More than two out of five college students globally (42%) believe companies should be flexible and empathetic to their need to stay connected via social media and personal websites.
Three out of 10 students globally (29%) feel that once they begin working, it will be their right – more than a privilege – to be able to work remotely with a flexible schedule. Seven of 10 college students (70%) believe it is unnecessary to be in the office regularly, with the exception of an important meeting. In fact, one in four feel their productivity would increase if they were allowed to work from home or remotely. The global figures were mirrored by employees as well, with 69% believing office attendance was unnecessary on a regular basis. In contrast, the 2010 report showed that three of five (60%) employees (of all ages) believed it was unnecessary to be confined to offices. The 2011 version’s finding indicates that the expectation of the next-generation workforce is increasingly emphasizing work flexibility, mobility, and non-traditional workstyles.
Currently, more than half of employees (57%) can connect to their corporate network from some remote locations, but only one out four (28%) can do so at anytime, from any location. Two in five (43%) consider it a critical function of their job to be able to connect to the network from any location at any time.
More than half of the college students and employees want to access corporate information over corporate networks using their home computers (63%) and personal mobile devices (51%).In the future, the next generation of the world’s workforce expects to access corporate networks and applications on numerous non-company devices, such as car navigation screens, seatback screens on airplanes, and televisions.