A recent article posted to Informationweek.com says the members of Gen Y want to telecommute, look for information by searching Google rather than looking in print publications, and prefer to email and text message as a means of communicating at work. Interesting information - but not news.
Anyone who has visited a Starbucks in the last five years knows that Millenials are always wired - whether by cell phone or computer. It's unlikely we will be able to convince them to make a 30 minute commute so that they can get to an office to have access a computer. Shoot, you can't even convince of that (yes, I telecommute).
Many of the Gen Ys that I work with are that way indeed. Interesting is that many, if not all of them don't have anywhere near the social networks I had when I was their age. Several rely on various clubs or other things outside of work or they simply never get out. While I have a network of old friends, old coworkers, friends of friends, friends of coworkers, etc. that is very deep.
Also, they tend to rely on technology a lot. For example, nearly all of them read a Wikipedia article about finance and think they know as much as our CFO. If you prove them wrong they don't take it well either.
I LONG for the day I can telecommute. In my institution, the unions and administration would NEVER let this happen. *How* could we be assured the employees were working? sigh.
As I sit here at my desk, working on the web based data system, emailing coworkers for information, phoning partners and teachers and creating documents for e-distribution, I'm watching out the window - I can't see across the street as the snow falls in a flurry, and all I can think about is that longggg drive home : (
I wish I could make that change.
I used to work for Microsoft and they don't even like to allow telecommuting. I guess I can see it to some degree but there is verbal as well as non-verbal communication that is required for human beings to truly communicate - especially when designing things or determining requirements.
So I can see smaller buildings used when teams need that sort of communication, but when it's no longer necessary they can go home to allow room for another team.
Gen Xers do have stronger social networks than Gen Y. As kids, we Xers were left on our own a lot. Gen Y was scheduled every minute of their childhood.
Gen Xers have made a real commitment to their friendships. I think you even see that in the portrayal of Xers on television. Most sitcoms about our generation revolve around a group of male and female friends.
The Xer parents in our neighborhood (about 70% of the neighbordhood) are bringing our kids up in much the same way we were brought up. People are waiting to get their kids into activities and they aren't getting their kids into as many. On any summer night most of the kids are outside running around and not playing video games or watching t.v. The pendulum swings...
I'll be interested to see how my children are categorized.
Same here. My kids do one activity at a time (although soccer and dance overlap for about 2 weeks in the spring). And my neighborhood is "turning over" - the Boomers are moving out and the Xers are moving in. And we are very 1950s block party type people. But in a sense, Xers have always kind of been like that. Even in college we had barbeques and what not. Now that it's winter, one of our favorite things is to have the neighbors come over with their kids - adults play cards and have a cocktail or two, kids play in the basement. All is well.
I agree with Leah and the companies that feel they cannot trust their employees to actually work when they work from home. The can't. Our generation has embraced so many advancements in technology making everything easier and faster. There is little need for serious good old fashioned hard work. I think these technological advancements has created a lazy society. I work for a large company and I see the laziness and lack of work values everyday. I gaurantee over 75% of them would not put in an honest days work for a days pay if they were telecommuting. It ruins it for the rest of us who actually would thrive with the opportunity.
An honest day's work depends on the type of payment for work. Is the work being paid by the project, or by the hour?
Employers who consider having employees work from home should consider this factor. If employees are being paid by objective/project, then the completion of the work would be evidence that the employee is putting in an "honest effort."
If employers judge how much "honest work" an employee does by the time spent warming a chair, then no, it's not worth having a telecommuting employee, because it's true, you never will know just how warm that chair got over the course of the day.
In fact, I believe Gen X'ers are much more efficient workers than boomers just because of the technological achievements our society has made, as well as our need to get the work done and go home to our real life. Boomer values, however, have yet to catch up with this fact.
I got so tired of "looking busy" while sitting in an office that I went out and started my own company. In the same 40 hour week, I can work for multiple clients, bring in much more earning potential, and complete more projects than if I was just sitting in a chair waiting for meetings to pass!
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