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March 13, 2012

Is the Internet as Important as Air, Food, Water and Shelter?

Last month I wrote about the latest trend happening around the world – companies of all sizes, in all sectors, taking new steps to curb the overuse and abuse of work emails.  The issue has garnered national news attention as employees and leaders struggle to successfully effectively manage technology in their work and personal lives. 

Now, new research from Cisco shows the once unthinkable value young professionals and tomorrow’s workers around the world place on technology. As younger members of the workforce become more and more connected, the implications for leaders are huge – getting work done as efficiently as possible, providing a work-life balance, and meeting the needs of employees.

Among the most telling headlines, the research shows:

  • 33% of college students and young professionals believe the Internet is as important as air, water, food and shelter
  • 45% of young professionals said they would take a low-paying job with more flexibility on social media access, mobility, and mobile device choices than a higher-paying one with less flexibility
  • 62% of young professionals said they could not live without the Internet
  • 58% of young professionals said a mobile device is the most important technology in their lives

The findings also show the importance of a host of technological considerations when it comes to maintaining a healthy work-life balance for employees, and a productive workforce for leaders.

  • 70% of young professionals “friended” managers or co-workers on Facebook
  • 68% of young professionals on Twitter follow their managers or co-workers
  • 84% of college students said they face online interruptions at least once an hour while doing projects or homework 

In my recent e-book on taming the email monster, I asked if leaders have data that’s helping build a better understanding of what employees think when it comes to email, and how to improve what’s getting in the way. 

With these findings, and the challenges leaders are already facing, what are you doing to build a productive workforce in your organization?

-David Grossman


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