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Grow Your Business Your Team

Gen Y Making New Digital Demands on Employers

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The pressure for employers to cater to tech-savvy Gen Y employees could be mounting, according to new research that shows just how much they value their mobile devices.

In the study conducted by Cisco, nearly half of surveyed professionals under age 30 said they would accept a lower-paying job that came with more device flexibility — including the ability to choose the device they want for personal use.

More than 80 percent of college students want the option to choose their own mobile device for their job, either by receiving budgeted money to buy it or bringing in a personal one in addition to company-issued devices.

The option to work remotely is also a priority for those surveyed, with 70 percent believing it is no longer necessary to be in the office regularly. One in four also say their productivity would increase if they were allowed to work remotely.

"In addition to the impact on business communications, the study provides proof that the next generation of employees and their technology demands will influence job decisions, hiring and a new age of work-life balance," said Sujai Hajela, vice president and general manager for the wireless networking business unit at Cisco. "How businesses address these demands will inevitably affect their competitive advantage."

Enterprise mobility expert Dan Croft said employees’ growing desire to use mobile devices for both personal and professional use is putting increased demands on IT departments as they try to keep up with changing times.

"We have seen a tremendous amount of blurring between personal and business time," Croft told ITTechNewsDaily.

With the need to now support so many devices and operating systems it is imperative businesses use specially designed software that can track which devices are accessing the network and what information is being tapped into, said Croft, the CEO and president of Mission Critical Wireless.

"Within 36 months, every company is going to have to have some sort of (mobile) device management software running," Croft said.

He also advises businesses to take simple security measures to protect their network should mobile devices become lost. Devices should be password-protected, and businesses should be able to lock them and wipe out data remotely, he said.

"If I can't (take those security measures), then I don't want them on my network," Croft said.

Croft also encourages businesses to set up their own app store, where employees can find approved and secure applications for their devices.


Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.