Just browsing through the headlines on BusinessWeek and came across this article: Young workers push employers for wider Web access
I’m sure the Gen Y readers will particularly enjoy the article, but I’d like Baby Boomer business owners to take a moment and read it as well. Here is a quote that I think sums up the article’s position nicely:
“It’s no different than spending too much time around the water cooler or making too many personal phone calls. Do you take those away? No,” says Gary Rudman, president of GTR Consulting, a market research firm that tracks the habits of young people. “The two worlds will continue to collide until there’s a mutual understanding that performance, not Internet usage, is what really matters.”
This new generation of talent lives and breathes technology, so when they get to the office and find they can’t get to Facebook, Gmail and other popular internet sites, or if there is no Wi-Fi access for their laptop, its as if they’ve been incapacitated. Hindered from working in the manner they are accustom.
Certainly for some companies in highly regulated industries, some safeguards will need to be in place. The article mentions a company allows employees to access any site but prevents file uploads for data security reasons.
In general, I think its better to assume your employees are all adults and can handle the internet appropriately. How are you handling the changing role of the internet in the office?