Home Gen Y Demands Greater Work Flexibility, Says Cisco Study

Gen Y Demands Greater Work Flexibility, Says Cisco Study

First-time young professionals and recent college students are getting increasingly more demanding about their workplace flexibility when it comes to their choice of computing devices, work hours, and access to social media networks during the workday. These results are part of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, the second of three parts which was released today. Cisco and InsightExpress surveyed 200 college students and young professionals in 14 countries.

A third of the college students and others under 30 said that they would prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer. Of course, this could be idealism speaking and we’ll see what they say when many will have trouble finding any job in this down economy. A sizable minority (40%) said they would take a lower-paying job that offered more in the way of device flexibility and social media access during work hours. And 56% said that if their job blocked access to social sites, they would not accept the offer or else join the company and look for ways to circumvent this policy. Food for thought for IT managers, certainly. Nearly two-thirds of job seekers plan on asking about social media usage policies during their interviews. So what are the rest going to do, fake their way through it?

Sheila Jordan, VP Communication and Collaboration IT, Cisco says, “These findings among college students and young employees indicate the freedom to access social media and use devices is increasingly important to the next generation of the world’s workforce – in some cases, more important than salary.”

Almost a third of all surveyed across the globe 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. Matching this attitude, almost a third feel that it is their right to work remotely and to make this decision after they are employed. Not surprisingly, 70% feel that they don’t need to be in their office regularly, and could get more done remotely. This is more than double the figures from last year.

Gen Y is clearly attached to their electronics. Nearly half said they would rather lose their wallet or purse than their smartphone or mobile device. Most also expect that any company-issued smartphone should be allowed for personal uses too. And 81% of the respondents want to choose their own devices, even for corporate tasks. From these results, the traditional methods of attracting new talent to the workforce may no longer apply.

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