Gen Y Tech Tools May Not Translate to the Real World

Gen Y Tech Tools May Not Translate to the Real World

Gen Y'ers are used to checking their e-mail, Facebook updates, and texting friends and family whenever they want. But new university graduates might be in for a rude awakening when they join the workforce and find that many of the tools they view as essential aren't allowed or banned altogether.

University graduates who have spent the last several years with consumer-based email such as Gmail, instant messaging, Facebook and smart phones to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues might be in for a rude awakening when they take jobs in the workforce. Not only will the technology their companies provide Gen Y workers with potentially outdated technologies than what they've used in the consumer market, they might be banned from using them in favor of dull and sometimes less efficient corporate technology. Experts say the problem could cause a riff between management and these Gen Y workerbees. Worse, it could hamper productivity as they butt heads over how best to utilize such technologies.

Twenty-somethings' insistence on having whatever technology best suits stems from psychological reinforcement, says Professor Tom Fauls, associate professor of advertising at Boston University's College of Communication. He says that the younger generations have grown up with more positive reinforcement in schools compared to the older generations so they have a "rude awakening" when they get to the workplace. For about six months, there is a "tremendous learning curve when they first get on the job," he says.

Jason Fang, a recent graduate of Bentley University with a degree in corporate finance and accounting, says that he used to plan out his homework schedule, including the amount of time each task would take, yet realizes that the workplace has a different set of rules for finishing projects.

Fang says that during college he spent between 3 minutes and 8 hours on a variety of online sites per week.

Online Activity of a Graduate's Last Semester

Jason Fang's Final Semester at Bentley University

Website Name Visits Per Week Time Spent Per Visit Distracting? 25 8 hrs Yes 7 1 hr No 5 2 hrs No 5 5 mins No 2 20 mins No 1 10 mins No 2 4 hrs Yes 7 1 hr Yes 1 1 min No 2 20 mins No 6 2 hrs Yes 1 3 mins No

According to Jonathan Yarmis, vice president of Disruptive Technologies at AMR Research, "The younger demographic have not only embraced [social networks] but in many ways have grown up with them," he points out.

Yarmis, who has a high-school-aged-son says that there is a big difference between the way that he and his son work; his son can use multiple mediums and applications at once, while he must focus solely on one to be productive.

Fang, who recently started a job at Grant Thornton says, "The thing about homework is that it doesn't matter if you do it early, it just matters if you have it done on time. Conversely, most bosses prefer you to complete work assignments ASAP, which puts pressure to get them done without taking any breaks. And really it all depends on who your boss is."

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Tags Web 2.0generation y

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