Young workers break the rules

by 12 Jan 2012

The employment of young and future employees is the single biggest challenge facing the workplace, a recent Cisco report has revealed.

Key findings included:

  • One of every three university students and young professionals rated access to the internet as equal importance alongside air, food, water and shelter.

  • Two of five said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.

  • Regarding security-related issues in the workplace, seven of ten employees admitted to knowingly breaking IT policies on a regular basis, and three of five believe they are not responsible for protecting corporate information and devices.

  • The most common reasons employees’ break company IT polices is due to the belief that they aren't doing anything wrong (33%), the need to access unauthorized applications for their jobs (22%), lack of enforcement (19%), lack of time to think about policies (18%), inconvenience of adhering to policies (16%), and forgetting to do so (15%).

The report surveyed close to 3,000 university students and young professionals to garner the attitudes and expectations of the world's next generation of workers, as well as how their demands for information access are changing business communications and the future of work.

The findings indicated the extent to which these attitudes are creating a disruption when it comes to traditional hiring practices, corporate cultures and mobile lifestyles. Employee demands continue to place greater pressure on HR, recruiters, and IT departments to allow more flexibility in the hope the next wave of talent can provide an edge over competitors.

With the consideration that one of every three employees (36%) responded negatively in the survey when asked if they respect their IT departments, balancing IT policy compliance with young employees’ desires for more flexible access to social media, devices, and remote access is truly testing the limits of traditional workplace rules.

Rebecca Jacoby, CIO, Cisco, added: “As workforces become increasingly mobile, the shift in IT infrastructure means that security and policy are no longer an “add-on” but the highest priority.”


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