Is the Internet a Fundamental Human Necessity?

Is the Internet a fundamental human necessity? Is a workplace with flexible mobility policies as valuable as salary? 

Cisco  asked nearly 3,000 college students and young professionals these and other questions in an international workforce study that examines the behavior and expectations of the world’s next generation of workers and leads to questions about how their demands for information access are changing business communications and the future of work.

One thing is for certain – the lines between work and personal life will become increasingly blurred in the near future. And, this will impact corporate policies and decisions.

The Cisco Connected World Technology Report provides insight into challenges that companies face as they strive to balance current and future employee and business needs amid expanding mobility capabilities, security risks, and technologies.

The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report revealed:

  •  One of every three college students and young employees believes the Internet is as important as air, water, food, and shelter.
  • Two of five said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
  • Regarding security-related issues in the workplace, seven of ten employees admitted to knowingly breaking IT policies on a regular basis, and three of five believe they are not responsible for protecting corporate information and devices.
  • Nearly three quarters of the young college-educated workforce report they access their Facebook page at least once a day or more frequently. 1 in 10 has their Facebook pages up all day. Approximately 43% of college students admit being distracted or interrupted by social media, IM, phone, or a desire to check Facebook, at least three times per hour.

Obviously, each company has to decide for itself, whether employee use of social media is good or bad for business.  Whatever your position on social media in the workplace, it is important to address it at the job interview. If you don’t bring it up, expect that college graduate candidates will broach the subject themselves. The Cisco study indicates that two thirds of college grads ask about social-media policies in job interviews.

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