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Entry Workforce and the Web

Cisco recently released a report and asks “Is the Internet a fundamental human necessity? Is a workplace with flexible mobility policies as valuable as salary?”

InfographicThe study reveals that one of those ready to enter, or already in an entry level position, consider the Internet to be as important as air, water, food, and shelter. Their desire to use social media, mobile devices, and the Internet more freely in the workplace is strong enough to influence their future job choice, sometimes more than salary. Interesting stuff, when one considers that  only a few years ago it was not about access to a social web, but expectations of salaries that matched more mid level managers. In some cases, they call it more essential than owning a car, dating, and going to parties.

Who are these folks? Is this vocative of the digital generation living their lives in a truly digital landscape? One should remember that with a mobile device, one is always able to be connected (of course with the right data plan and device) to social and extended web platforms regardless of the access afforded on the corporate network. The challenge is to ensure that a proper policy is in place for the use of it during corporate time.

I would argue that those who spend excessive time on the web during the work hours (excluding those who actually use the web as a tool their main mode of employ) would be apt to find other ways to fill non-productive time – be it office chatter or water cooler chin-wags.

So do you open up your networks? It has to come down to a balance of security and discipline. The key points that this study bring up is that with an upcoming shortage of entry level workers (and assuming an ever growing number of vacant boomer positions), organizations will be challenged to satisfy the digital generations perceived needs with the reality of the larger aims of the organization.

Food for Thought – Cisco Study Highlights:

  • Many respondents cite a mobile device as “the most important technology” in their lives
  • Seven of 10 employees have “friended” their managers and coworkers on Facebook
  • Two of five students have not bought a physical book (except textbooks) in two years
  • Most respondents have a Facebook account and check it at least once a day
  • Half would rather lose their wallet or purse than their smartphone or mobile device.
  • More than two of five 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.
  • At least one in four 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.
  • Three out of 10 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.