Gen Y has been a new breed of worker that transformed the business world from the moment they stepped through the door (in Converse and jeans, to boot). They are idealistic and digitally savvy; they value meaningful work and social media freedom; they’re hungry for interaction and thirsty for acknowledgment.
Fast forward to 2013 … Gen Yers are rising through the ranks and entering into management roles. They are poised to transform the business world yet again, but this time they’ll be making changes from the top and leading the workplace with collaboration and mobile technologies that have already proven integral to their daily lives.
As a collaboration connoisseur myself, I was excited to check out the results of a survey Cisco released today about one of the primary tech tools young executives will use to lead their organizations – business-class video. Some of the notable findings from The “2013 Cisco Global Young Executives’ Video Attitudes”survey are:
- Three out of five management-track Gen Y leaders will rely more heavily on business-class video during the next five-10 years
- 87 percent of respondents stated that a company’s video investment would significantly impact their decision when considering job offers
- 94 percent of those organizations with less than 400 employees value video as a way to break down language barriers in the increasingly global marketplace
This doesn’t surprise me at all – video technology, such as Cisco TelePresence, has become a pervasive, accessible and must-have tool in business environments. I’ve experienced first-hand how high-quality video bridges geographical barriers and improves business processes and I agree that a company’s video strategy would be a factor when considering a job offer.
As a new mom, Cisco’s teleworking policy is one of the biggest benefits of my job. Easy-to-use video allows me to manage global teams from the comfort of my own home when I cannot make it into the office. It’s also a job perk that helps Cisco attract top talent, regardless of where that talent lives. High-quality video allows me to interact with global colleagues I wouldn’t be able to connect with otherwise while saving on travel costs. In fact, the only drawback is when I finally meet my co-workers face-to-face they often comment that I’m shorter in person than on video!
We all know that Gen Y’ers are not afraid to share the ongoing of their day-to-day lives publically, so what makes them hesitant to show face on camera? The survey also asked this question and uncovered the top five reasons young execs feel uncomfortable sharing their video: they are embarrassed about a messy office, they’re uncomfortable about their appearance, they don’t want to be caught multitasking, they don’t want to be seen eating on camera and they suffer from camera shyness. This made me laugh, as I vividly remember trying to avoid being caught on camera with my mouth full of cereal. My first few video calls were an experience, but now that’s all a distant memory. Video has become so embedded into my everyday processes that I hardly give it a second thought.
Based on today’s survey results, it seems like Gen Y leaders are on the right track. The workplace is dynamic. In order to keep up with its constant evolution, we have to implement technologies that improve our business processes and empower employees with tools that help them advance their own careers. I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty good about our chances with these young execs at the helm.
For more information about the study, I’ve included the presentation below. I also encourage you to read the full press release for details on the findings and let me know what you think is most interesting.