One of the many issues arising to bedevil small businesses over the past decade has been the dramatic rise of new, cutting-edge personal technology — from communication (iPhones and smartphones) to entertainment (iPods) to communications (Facebook and Twitter), technology has, like it or not, completely transformed the American work place.
Dealing with how to integrate these technological shifts into your business plan is one thing. It’s entirely another to evaluate the impact all these technological wonders are having on your employee productivity.
“Fight it all you want, but employees are going to be bringing their own smartphones, tablets and other technology to work with them,” warns John Parkinson for The Wall Street Journal.
“So it’s time to stop resisting and start preparing.”
In supporting the idea of allowing your work force to utilize their own technology in the office, Parkinson’s main points boil down for employee tech policies:
- mobility (the inescapability of mobile devices);
- virtualization (separating the user’s software environment from the IT hardware);
- the rise of “temporary, contract and outsourced labor” (you can’t fairly dictate what technology contractors use); and
- the difficulty in getting a good return on fixed assets.
Of course, the influx of Generation Y, or Millennials, is greatly increasing this shift to personal tech in the office. As a recent Cisco study discovered, “one in three college students and young professionals consider the Internet to be as important as air, water, food, and shelter.”
The study also found that the desire of this younger generation “to use social media, mobile devices, and the Internet more freely in the workplace is strong enough to influence their future job choice, sometimes more than salary.”
Originally published: Nov 15, 2011