Why the next generation workforce demands a mobile-first workplace

(c)iStock.com/Milan Stojanovic

If you do not have a strategy in place to cater for tomorrow’s workforce, then it should be rushing up the priority list immediately.

The working mentality is shifting, with the traditional office setting increasingly moving towards obsolescence – and a new study from Domo and CEO.com argues the next generation of employees expect a mobile-first workplace from their employers.

The research went straight from the horse’s mouth, polling more than 2000 college students. Not surprisingly, most of their internet access comes through a mobile device, 46% using smartphones compared to 43% on a tablet or laptop. Similarly, more than 97% of students polled use their phones to send or receive text messages, while 96% use them to access the internet.

One in three of all employees today are millennials, born between 1982 and 1994. The millennial workforce is already frustrated with current collaboration tools according to current research; Alfresco Software found almost three quarters (71%) of millennial employees face challenges with current software, compared to 45% of the baby boomer generation. It comes as little surprise, therefore, to find mobile at the heart of the future workplace in the eyes of students.

70% of those polled expect they will be able to bring their own phone to work through BYOD, compared to 29% expecting their employer to provide a device. The survey also sheds light on worker expectations and infers the ‘always-on’ working pattern – 70% said they expected to work more than 40 hours a week, with 90% preferring a fast-paced work environment.

While employers should get their act together in prompting a paradigm shift for the next generation workforce, security should also be considered. A report from Aruba Networks in April found six out of 10 ‘generation mobile’ workers were happy to let others regularly use their work and personal smartphones, while nearly a third admit to having lost data due to the misuse of a mobile device.

For the next generation of workers, the biggest employee benefit by a distance was technology – smartphones or laptops (65%). 14% argued gym memberships and corporate wellness was the biggest perk, compared with only 12% who chose free meals.

 

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