Cisco Systems, a company known for its place on the cutting edge of technology, that has been honoured among the US Best Workplaces for fifteen years running, recently surveyed 3,000 students and young professionals around the world. While the study focused on a younger demographic, we know that where young people go, older generations follow. For this reason it has real implications regarding mobile technology and the related freedom to work whenever and wherever it suits - not just for that generation, but for all age groups.
The opportunity? Figure out how to let your people work effectively away from the office (allowing flexible working is the easy part - boosting productivity takes thought and effort). Find ways to allow them to use the technology that suits their preferences best (and yes, allow reasonable personal use too). Trust them to get the job done, with at least some flexibility around when they do the work - the trick is to measure performance by results, not by attendance. You will reap the benefits through an improved ability to attract and retain great young people, lower office costs and related overheads, and greater productivity (we all tend to do our best work when we know that we are trusted to deliver without having a manager sitting on our shoulders). Engage your younger employees in a conversation around these issues but - as always - don't ask if you're not prepared to act on at least some of what you hear!
(You can read more about the 'Work Whenever & Wherever' concepts in this recent article
Tiffany Barber is the Associate Manager of Marketing and Communications and an avid blogger for Great Place to Work®in the USA, based in our San Francisco Office.