Social Media Trumps Salary in the Workplace

New study from Cisco find some surprising results in how millennials view the need for social media at work.

Those staffers who were born and raised in the Internet era have a different view of how connectivity and social media should exist in the workplace, according to a new study.

A new Connected World study from networking vendor Cisco System was released this week, based on survey data from 2,800 college students and young professionals under the age of 30.

Among the key findings of the study is that 64 percent of survey respondents said they plan to ask about social media usage policies during a job interview. The importance of social media freedom was so important that 33 percent of respondents said they would take a job that offered social media freedom and work mobility over salary.

Going a step further, 56 percent said that if they joined a company that banned social media access they would aim to find a way to get around the corporate policy.

"It's fascinating that this is part of the considerations that this group has when entering the workforce," Sheila Jordan, VP of Communication and Collaboration IT at Cisco told

Having multiple devices is also a key trend, with 77 percent of respondents noting they had multiple devices. Even though they had multiple devices, 70 percent said that company issued devices should be allowed for personal and business use. When it comes to what devices they want to actually use at work, 81 percent want to be able to choose their own device.

The ability to work remotely is also a key trend that younger workers have strongly embraced. Cisco's study found that 39 percent of respondents indicated that it is their right -- and not a privilege -- to be able to work remotely.

"The expectations of the next generation workforce are very different and it is increasingly emphasizing mobility, flexibility and what I would call non-traditional work styles," Jordan said. "The growing use of mobility is also causing corporate IT to think differently about how they offer an environment with secure devices."

While the trends toward mobility and social media usage were measured by Cisco from a survey of those under 30, the new trends also apply to older workers too. "In general with how work is changing inside of organizations, it's not tied to a particular generation," Jordan said. "We don't see a whole lot of distinction inside of Cisco with adoption of new technology; the difference isn't as much generational as it is cultural."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

Tags: social media, Cisco, millennials

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