The workers of the so-called Generation Y may not seem that different, but their relationship with technology and their ‘always-on’ mentality makes their way of working worth trying to understand. IT experts often refer to their tendency to prefer BYOD solutions, elements of social business, and the ability to access their files and work from anywhere. But in many ways this barely scratches the surface of just how fundamental Gen Y’s connection with technology is.
Just reading some of the statistics is quite staggering. 90% of Gen Y admitted to checking their emails, texts and social media before they get out of bed in the morning. 20% check their smartphones at least every ten minutes. Keeping up to date and communicating is in many ways as important to Gen Y as sleeping and eating. And with over 60% admitting to checking their phone subconsciously, perhaps it’s even as important as breathing (Cisco Connected World Technology Report 2012.). Gen Y couldn’t stop being connected even if they wanted to.
That’s what makes BYOD and the ability to work anywhere so important for IT departments. When your entire social life is always on and always accessible, having your work life constrained is jarring and can come as a shock. Gen Y not only benefits from these IT solutions, they require them to work properly at all. BYOD and cloud solutions are not creating new connections to your worker; they are simply allowing an already deeply connected worker the ability to use their out of office time however they choose, whether it be for their social life or for their work life. The bottom line is that Gen Y expects to be connected to everything from home and for everything to be available all of the time – and that needs to include their work-life as well as their social-life.