As the newest force in the workplace, Gen-Y brings a fresh outlook on how to accomplish company activities. As a whole, they have different understandings about the value of feedback and team versus individual projects. One crucial expectation that is also becoming relevant for the greater workforce at large is mobile access for business activities. Organizations need to recognize this new reality, and make changes in the ways in which their employees can interact with their internal programs and complete tasks. Mobile devices are not distractions or hindrances, but rather aids to increase productivity.
The New Computer
Mobile technology is an integral part of Gen-Y’s lives, and they expect workplaces to incorporate it into their work activities. It’s the equivalent of a Gen-X’er walking into any office 20 years ago – the standards of the work process were evolving, and computer access was a given. Companies adjusted accordingly – they outfitted workspaces with specially-designed desks, installed more outlets, and developed their IT departments exponentially. Gradually e-mail replaced the fax machine, and contact lists did away with the Rolodex; information retrieval as a whole was faster, more reliable, and consistent. As a result, production output increased at a quicker pace – everybody benefited from the speed and convenience afforded by computers, from large, multinational companies to small, local businesses.
The wheels of evolution continue to turn, and the technologies Gen-Y were nurtured on have signaled a shift in the overall standard in the workplaces for all workers. It’s no longer enough to supply a bulky computer and a company e-mail address. Times have changed, and the mobile access that is such a given in every other realm of life should be practiced in the workplace, as well.
Empower, Don’t Limit
Organizations in today’s global corporate environment should acknowledge the power of smartphone functionality in the workplace. Indeed, a study published at the end of 2012 found that over 40% of companies recognized the benefits of their employees accomplishing business tasks via social media; at the end of 2011, fewer than one third of companies were in this camp.
Mobile technology increases productivity levels among all employees, promoting better communication methods, improved collaboration techniques, and a more open office structure. For example, the GooodJob Mobile app plays an important role in bringing employee referral programs onto the mobile playing field by optimizing them for smartphones. Introducing such enterprise apps shows that companies understand the central and permanent place that personal devices have in employees’ lives.
Clearly, any security concerns should be assessed and dealt with, especially when it comes to with sensitive personal, financial or safety concerns. But actively requiring IT departments to resolve these issues and enable a more open environment, instead of refusing to tackle the matter.
Organizations should learn from Gen-Y’s workplace expectations and propel their business practices into the modern era. This is a move that will benefit all employees, as the majority of the workforce is increasingly catching on as seen by statistics of mobile adoption. Don’t let your company lag behind – embrace mobile connectivity and better engage your employees.