I love a Generational classification. Readers of this blog would have seen me write about Boomers, Generations X, Y and R and even create my own…Generation Bowie.
So I couldn’t resist the chance to write about Generation Standby…not least because this one has little to do with when you were born. It probably covers many of us.
This is the generation of workers who are socially and technologically never disconnected. They never fully switch off from either home or work and expect flexibility from employers in return for longer working hours.
They don’t have a problem with this, because they balance it with ‘homing’ from work – performing personal tasks such as checking social networks, e-mail, shopping online.
Sound familiar? Can anyone identify with this?
I read this mainly from a survey by software security company Clearswift, and some findings that interested me are:
– 66% of all employees who ‘home from work’ say they make the time up by working later or through lunch
– Men are more likely than Women to ‘home from work’…higher percentages for checking social networking, dealing with personal e-mails and shopping online
– 79% said over and above the role and salary, the most important thing in a job was being trusted to manage their own time, and being trusted to use the internet as they wish
I’ve often thought that companies need to give employees more flexibility and trust, whether it’s how they use social media for work (primarily blogging) or how they manage their time whilst at work, so was not surprised that almost 4 out of 5 want that flexibility.
I did read a blog late last year (sorry there’s no link, but I can’t remember where I read it, maybe someone can post a link) where one of the predictions for social media this year was that employees will begin to expect ‘Social Media Breaks’ for a few minutes 3 or 4 times during a day…a bit like ‘Cigarette Breaks’ used to be. Grab a coffee and take 5/10 minutes out to see what people are saying…
…it would certainly require a leap of faith from employers.
What is clear is that technology has offered us a completely new way of working…longer hours maybe, flexible locations definitely, but it’s also a different kind of work where we are socially and technologically always connected.
I’m interested to know how employers are going to adapt to this…any ideas?