Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Survey: Mature Workers Most Likely To Use Communication Tools in the Workplace

In its eighth annual survey of top business issues and evolving workplace trends that impact employers and employees, Ranstad USA reveals a divergence between generations’ use of and resistance to particular communication tools in the workplace. In its World of Work 2007" survey, Randstad focused on employee productivity, retention and morale and found that, in 2007, employees’ efficiency and output replaced technology as the key source of productivity gains.

With respect to older workers, the survey had two intererstng findings. First, with respect to use of workplace communication tools:
Gen Y, the youngest generation with a reputation for being technologically savvy, is overall the least likely to use communication tools in the workplace, including computers, faxes, personal digital assistants (PDAs), mobile and landline phones. The “power-users” proved to be the Matures, the oldest generation, who were well into middle age when the personal computer was introduced, and the youngest of whom were 50 years of age when business discovered the Internet.
Second, with respect to the retiring boomer generation:
However, the generations who stand to benefit the most from the job opportunities care the least. Half of Gen X and merely 36 percent of Gen Y employees feel the shortage is a reality compared to Matures and Boomers, at 69 and 68 percent respectively.
Source: Ranstad USA Press Release (June 25, 2007)

1 comment:

Jesse said...

The issue of generational differences relating to technology is something we've explored at Human Factors International (HFI).

In fact, we just released a white paper & webcast called "Who are we designing for? The generational dilemma."

http://www.humanfactors.com/downloads/webcast-generations.asp

Companies are often challenged with designing for at least 3 demographics with different needs, interests, and ways of interacting with technology:

* Baby Boomers
* Generation X
* Net Generation (a.k.a. Millennials, Generation Y)

Ironically, Generation X is the smallest population segment but often the one responsible for designing most websites. It's rare to have the luxury of focusing on only one age group, though. So understanding generational differences is a key to creating sites that are usable, persuasive, and engaging.

We examine each group's tendencies, attitudes, and expectations towards technology, sharing findings, ideas, and examples describing similarities and differences between the groups and offer thought-provoking takeaways for user experience design.