by December 1, 2010 0 comments

As we bid farewell to the current year and make way for the new year, let’s do it keeping in view that the world ahead of us is changing. Not only is it changing because we’re leaving the economic slowdown behind, but also because the new generation of executives and professionals that would be joining our organizations in the future would come with a very different mind set and technical knowledge.
These new executives have grown up on a diet of social media, IMs, and SMS jokes. They wake up with a “Good Morning” SMS from a friend on their phone. They are quite open about sharing their personal information and telling the world what they’re doing, what’s on their mind, etc on Twitter or Facebook. They’re very comfortable finding like-minded friends from the Internet to socialize with, share their family photos and videos, etc.
Welcome to the new generation of our population, which is more connected virtually than physically. Are you ready for them, technically? Would you be open to giving them the same technologies at work as they’re comfortable using at home or on the move? Because you can well imagine that your next set of employees are going to expect these facilities when they join you? Will you give them the freedom to interact with others at any time? Or will big brother continue watching and block all applications that they’re comfortable using?
If you haven’t thought about it, then it’s time you pondered over how to incorporate these technologies in the workplace. It’s not as easy as it may sound. For one, would you be willing to give them access to public social networking sites from your network? If yes, then how do you ensure it doesn’t reduce employee productivity, and people don’t spend all day in office playing FarmVille? How do you ensure that important information about your organization isn’t out in the public on somebody’s ‘wall’? If you don’t give access because you’re worried about security and productivity, then you’re missing out on a potential channel of communication that your employees are already comfortable using. Not only that, but as employees put in longer working hours to sacrifice their physical social life, they’d expect to remain social virtually. Maybe you should setup your own private social networking site, but then it would not be as dynamic as the public ones, and you would have to put a lot of effort in keeping it alive with content that employees would want to use.
Social media is just one part of the equation. What will happen when more mobile Internet devices with 3G start coming in, which is expected to happen in the new year? Are you ready for it? Wish you a happy new year, in advance!

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