News Feature | November 19, 2015

CompTIA: Younger Workers' Tech Preferences Could Impact Workforce Dynamics

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

CompTIA: Younger Workers’ Tech Preferences Could Impact Workforce Dynamics

Among the trends shaping the workplace of the future are increasingly blurred lines between personal and work lives, a greater emphasis on social media engagement, and stronger views on technology, according to new research from CompTIA, the IT industry association.

CompTIA’s report Managing the Multigenerational Workforce examines generational issues that are changing workforce dynamics and offers insights on how millennials are expected to change the workplace of the future.

“Like baby boomers and Gen X that preceded them, millennials have strong preferences and priorities when it comes to what a workplace should look like,” said Seth Robinson, senior director, technology analysis at CompTIA. “It will be interesting to see if these preferences become the norm as more millennials enter senior leadership positions; or if millennials change their views as they take on greater responsibilities to clients, communities, employees and shareholders.”

Technology is a decisive factor for younger employees; 74 percent of millennial workers and 61 percent of Gen X workers say an employer's technical expertise is a factor when considering employment. “The data also suggests that younger workers are more apt to feel that their employer is pushing the technology envelope, suggesting that they’re taking greater advantage of what’s being offered,” said Anna Matthai, manager, research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “As the world becomes more digital, businesses with the best technology will be in the best position to compete for and hire younger workers.”

The study also found: 

  • 58 percent of millennial office workers believe that the need for IT support services is increasing.
  • 42 percent of millennial office workers would consider paying for priority service, compared to only 20 percent of baby boomer office workers.
  • Younger workers are more open to using a variety of emerging means to get the IT support they need and resolve IT issues, including instant messaging, video chat, and mobile apps.

The study also found information being shared via social media channels remains a chief concern among businesses and is acknowledged as a potential problem by employees. The majority of workers across all age groups (64 percent) believe that social media adversely impacts productivity at work. “Organizations should seriously consider building a policy around social media to define proper behaviors and minimize the risk of sensitive data being shared,” Robinson said.

CompTIA’s Managing the Multigenerational Workforce study is based on two separate online surveys conducted in September 2015. The first survey queried 700 business professionals; the second, 1,010 teenagers and young adults between the ages of 13 and 24.