New Cisco Study Finds that Millennials’ Workplace Demands for Flexibility Rivals Pay

November 2, 2011 - 3 Comments

Attracting new talent in the workforce is a big priority for Cisco – and I’m sure for most companies around the globe.  Companies spend significant time, money and effort to attract these new recruits, but are they prepared to keep them happy and retain them after they come onboard?

Cisco has just revealed the results of a new research study that looks at the future of work – the “Cisco Connected World Technology Report” – that examines the expectations, demands, and behaviors of college students and new grads toward information access. The findings are thought-provoking, particularly if you view them from an IT perspective. That’s because the next generation of workers are entering the workforce with entirely new expectations.  Among other things, they highly desire mobile networking, device flexibility, and the blending of personal and work lifestyles. 

One key finding from the report is that if given the choice, Millenials would rather lose their wallet or purse instead of their smart phone. This surprising result demonstrates the high importance of mobile devices and the information they carry vs. the importance of money.

Another finding that was particularly relevant to me was the fact that 30 percent of college students feel that once they begin working, it will be their right (italics added) to be able to work remotely with a flexible schedule.  Quite a contrast to the days when most of us started our first jobs!

Here’s another interesting discovery: more than half of college students said that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media they would either not accept a job from that firm or would find a way to circumvent corporate policy. So, college students are obviously thinking about social media at work during the interview process.

The expectation of the next-generation workforce is increasingly emphasizing work flexibility, mobility and non-traditional work styles – and may align with how innovative companies can be. Savvy companies will acknowledge the value Millenials provide in utilizing technology to help companies’ efficiency and competitive advantage. And, the growing use of mobile devices for work is challenging corporate IT functions to think differently.

These interesting results and more can be found at Let me know what you think of them!

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  1. Being an “older” worker and seeing the current trend of the worklife balance issues getting trampled on by companies who “downsize” work forces but “upsize” work demands, I say Bravo to the new think from the college campuses!

  2. Absolutely true!

  3. As part of the recruiting team for the IT University Program within Cisco, this is very relevant. I’ve seen this firsthand with our interactions across the multiple universities we recruit from and feedback from students.