Salary Alone is Not Enough Says Latest Workforce Study

Salary can sometimes take second place to the unhindered use of social media, mobile devices and the internet at the workplace, said a new international study.

The conclusion is part of the second chapter of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report. The 2018 version showed that the next-generation workforce value connectivity and flexibility in their choice of devices on par or even higher than salary.

This demand illustrates the importance of the relationship between the Internet, workforce culture, and companies' competitive advantages, and surprisingly indicates that traditional methods of attracting and retaining young employees may be less important as the ‘Millennial' generation comprises more of the workforce, said the press release.

"In addition to the impact on business communications, the study provides proof that the next generation of employees and their technology demands will influence job decisions, hiring and a new age of work-life balance. How businesses address these demands will inevitably affect their competitive advantage and HR success. It is not just a technology trend anymore – it's a business trend," said Sujai Hajela, vice president and general manager, wireless networking business unit, Cisco.

According to the study findings, one in three college students and young employees under the age of 30 (33 percent) said that they would prioritize social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer.

Meanwhile, more than two of five college students (40 percent) and young employees (45 percent) said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility about device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility. About two of three college students (64 percent) said they plan to ask about social media usage policies during job interviews, and one in four overall (24 percent) said it would be a critical factor in their decision to accept an offer.

In reality, more than two of five employees (41 percent) said their companies marketed a flexible device and social media policy to recruit and attract them. Almost a third of the employees globally (31 percent) believe their comfort level with social media and devices was a factor in their hiring – an indication that companies acknowledge the value Millennials provide in utilizing technology to help companies' efficiency and competitive advantage.

The report also noted that young employees are no longer using a single device. More than three of every four employees (77 percent) have multiple devices, such as a laptop and a smartphone or multiple phones and computers. One in three employees globally (33 percent) uses at least three devices for work. Four of five college students (81 percent) want to choose the device for their job – either receiving budgeted funds to purchase the work device of their choice or bringing in a personal one in addition to standard company-issued devices. About seven in 10 employees (68 percent) believe their companies should allow them to access social media and personal sites with their work-issued devices.

“The results in the Cisco Connected World Technology Report demonstrate how companies need to acknowledge this fact in greater numbers, and respond accordingly – for many industries, the status quo of previous work environments is becoming a thing of the past," said Sheila Jordan, vice president Communication and Collaboration IT, Cisco.

The study was commissioned by Cisco and conducted by InsightExpress, a third-party market research firm based in the U.S., from a survey pool of 2,800 respondents from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, India, China, Japan, and Australia.