Young Employees Prefer Technology Flexibility over Salary

November 2, 2011 ( – According to the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, young professionals' and college students' desire to use social media, mobile devices, and the Internet freely in the workplace is strong enough to influence their future job choice. 

One in three college students and young employees under the age of 30 (33%) said they would prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer.  Mobile networking, device flexibility, and the blending of personal and work lifestyles are key components of a work environment and culture that are increasingly important in determining which companies will land the next wave of industry talent, Cisco said in a press release. 

More than two of five college students (40%) and young employees (45%) said they would accept a lowerpaying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.

More than half of college students globally (56%) said that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media, they would either not accept a job offer or would join and find a way to circumvent corporate policy. 
In addition, nearly two-thirds of college students (64%) said they plan to ask about social media usage policies during job interviews, and one in four overall (24%) said it will be a key factor in their decision to accept an offer. 

More than two of five employees (41%) said their companies marketed a flexible device and social media policy to recruit and attract them. 

Other survey findings from Cisco include:

•  Almost a third of the employees globally (31%) believe their comfort level with social media and devices was a factor in their hiring.

•  For those employees who are prohibited from accessing corporate networks and applications remotely, the top reason among employees is corporate policies (48%), including influence by corporate culture and resistance to enabling a more distributed communications culture. 

•  At least one in four employees (29%) globally 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.

•  More than three of every four employees (77%) have multiple devices, such as a laptop and a smartphone or multiple phones and computers. One in three employees globally (33%) uses at least three devices for work. 

•  A majority of college students globally—seven of every 10 (71%)—believe that company-issued devices should be allowed for personal and business use because of the blending of work and personal communications in their daily lifestyle. 

•  About seven in 10 employees (68%) believe their companies should allow them to access social media and personal sites with their work-issued devices. 

•  Three out of 10 students globally (29%) 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. 

•  Currently, more than half of employees (57%) can connect to their corporate network from some remote locations, but only one out four (28%) can do so at anytime, from any location. Two in five (43%) consider it a critical function of their job to be able to connect to the network from any location at any time. 

•  Seven of 10 college students (70%) believe it is unnecessary to be in the office regularly, with the exception of an important meeting. In fact, one in four feel their productivity would increase if they were allowed to work from home or remotely.


The second annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report surveyed more than 2,800 college students and young professionals in 14 countries.