Food for Thought: Where Work and Social Media Intersect

March 29th, 2012 | Food for Thought | No Comments »

Since it’s been reported that by 2025 (a mere 13 years away), 75% of the workforce will consist of Generation Y (those born in the late 80’s and 90’s), the topic of social media in the workplace becomes an ever more important one.

Why? Because more than any other generation before them, this group of youngsters highly values work-life balance. Not only that, but it’s a more integrated work-life balance than has ever been seen in the workplace before. They believe that work and life should not be separate entities at opposite ends of the day and different days of the week. Instead, they should be meshed together in harmony.

This leads to a greater demand for flexibility in the workplace and a broader range of responsibilities that allow them to do what they love. Most importantly though, this means a greater level of connection and communication, primarily through social media.

Just as work and personal data are being combined on the same mobile devices, this generation wishes to do the same in the office itself. Many studies have found the surprising result that a good majority of this generation deems the use of social media at work more important than a higher salary. And in a study surveying Facebook users, over half of this generation are Facebook friends with coworkers.

It’s a phenomenon that many companies are already embracing. This is a generation that can brings fresh new perspectives to the table, and you may be surprised that despite their use of social media in the office, they are often more productive and passionate about their work than you might have expected. Even if you’re not actively hiring Gen Y-ers, chances are that you will be in the future. Now is a great time to look over your policies and practices in order to attract the best workers of this millennial generation.

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