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Social Media and Mobility: The New Workplace Currency

By Steve Glissman | Nov 07, 2011 | Insights

Cisco recently released their 2011 Connected World Technology Report. In this report, Cisco used college students and recently employed college graduates as their sample group to gauge the importance of technology to their lives.  TBL President Alan Sears discussed the findings regarding the importance of the Internet to this group. When I read the report, I was stuck by the value that the respondents placed on social media and mobile devices.

  • Two-thirds of college students will ask about social media policies during interviews.
  • 56% will not accept a job from a company that bans social media, or they will circumvent the policy.
  • 50% would rather lose their wallet or purse than their smartphone or mobile device.
  • More than two of five 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.
  • At least one in four said the absence of remote access would influence their job decisions, such as leaving companies sooner rather than later, slacking off, or declining job offers outright.
  • Three out of 10 feel that once they begin working, it will be their right- more than a privilege -to be able to work remotely with a flexible schedule.

My initial thought was to see if Cisco planned on polling these same people in 10 years when they have 2.3 kids, a minivan and mortgage to see if they changed their position on social media access versus higher pay.  However, after my old man rage subsided, I wrote down some productive thoughts based on these findings.

Embrace social media

While it will continue to evolve, social media is here to stay. Companies need to embrace it in a manner that allows employees to use it, but with guidelines that maintain professionalism and brand integrity.

At TBL Networks, we embrace social media via blogs (like the one you are reading right now), in addition to using various channels like Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.  However, if your company is not ready to embrace social media externally, you can reap the benefits of social media by using it internally.

Cisco Quad is a tool developed to combine the four cornerstones of the modern workforce: social, mobile, visual, and virtual.  With Cisco Quad, your employees can collaborate internally, in a secure yet mobile environment. Cisco Quad comes with Cisco Enterprise Policy Manager, which help you enforce security and compliance while allowing mobility and flexibility in your collaboration environment.

Foster SECURE mobility

Remember when mobility meant that you had a laptop?  Perhaps even more so than social media, mobility is driving the changes in technology. Smartphones and tablets empower your employees to work more effectively and efficiently when away from the office. However, unlike times past when business first provided employees with new technology, odds are that your employees are going to have, and also want to use, their own tablets and smartphones before you provide these devices.   The “Bring Your Own Device”  (BYOD) trend raises mainly new issues for employers, with security challenges at the forefront.

To deal with issues brought forth by BYOD, Cisco has introduced Cisco SecureX architecture. Cisco SecureX  enforces security policies across the entire distributed network, not just at a single point in the data stream.  Also, according to this video, this service also comes your own referee!
While seeing the demands of the younger generation might release your inner Judge Smails, the fact is that social media and mobility are driving changes in technology.  However, the good news is that  you get to choose the vehicle.

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