It is the Clash of The Generations and it is being blamed on 'tudes about technology. The .LexisNexis®Technology Gap Survey shows how dramatically different boomers and Gen Yers ( sometimes called Millennials - anyone born after 1980) view appropriate use of technology at work.
"You can have Gen Y-ers who are busy looking at their BlackBerrys. They've got their laptops flipped open, they're engaging in social networking right during the course of a meeting, and you have a boomer rolling their eyes, not understanding it," says Michael Walsh, the CEO for LexisNexis U.S. Legal Markets. "Two-thirds of boomers that were surveyed indicated that they felt that use of devices, technology — such as e-mail, social networking, the Internet, etc. — contributed to a decline in office etiquette." Meanwhile, Gen X-ers are caught between having to manage and bridge the gap.
Gen Yers spend so much time using social media at work that a New York University Professor coined the term "weisure" which refers to people who use what was once their free time for work and their work time for socializing.
All of this mixing of work and play is in marked contrast with how things used to be done. In the traditional work environment of previous generations, there were clear lines that demarcated professional life from home life, and though a worker might have worked late or spent a weekend at the office, when he or she went home they left their jobs at the office
The LexisNexis study confirms what many people have been feeling in the workplace. The generations have very different viewpoints on what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior when it comes to using technology and particpating in social media activities at work. What the study does not offer up is ways to bridge this cultural gap.
Some of the other findings:
- While a over two thirds (68%) of all Boomers agree that PDAs andmobile phones contribute to a decline in proper workplace etiquette, less than half (46%) of Gen Y workers thinkso
- While over two thirds of Boomer workers think the use of a laptop or PDA during in-person meetings is “distracting”(68%), less than half (49%) of Gen Y workers think so
- While only 17% of Boomers think using laptops or PDAs during in-person meetings is “efficient,”over one third (35%) of Gen Y think it is.
- While only 28% of Boomers think that blogging about work-related issues is acceptable, 41% of Gen Y do
- While almost half of Gen Y workers (47%) think it’s acceptable to befriend a client on a social networking site, only 24% of Boomers do
- While only 38% of Boomers think it’s appropriate to befriend a colleague on a social networking site, over three quarters 76% of Gen Y workers do.
- Gen Yers spend three times as much time reading blogs daily compared to boomers.
- While 39% of Gen Yers said they used gaming programs at work, only 14% of boomers said they did.
- Boomers say they spend an hour a day doing instant messages, Gen Yers say they spend over 3 hrs daily Iming.
- Only 11% of boomers say its essential to have a laptop in a meeting..32% of Gen Yers can't go to meetings without one.