Digital divide between Generation Y and management

Graduates and managers disagree about whether newer methods of communication like webcams and IM are suitable for the workplace.

Graduates and older members of staff disagree when it comes to workplace communication methods, according to research.

Recent graduates (termed Generation Y) want more innovative and modern methods of communication available in the office which they commonly use outside of work.

Some 82 per cent of graduates believe that a hands-free headset will allow them to have conversations away from their desks and provide greater privacy, according to the research.

Many also think that a webcam (77 per cent) and instant messaging (IM) (73 per cent) could help them to respond more quickly and in a more personalised manner to clients and suppliers.

"The way this new generation wants to work is different and that's no surprise. Graduates today have grown up with newer forms of communication and we aren't just talking email and mobile phones." said Philip Vanhoutte, European managing director of Plantronics, who carried out the research.

"By embracing IM and hands-free or even providing this new workforce with greater flexibility in where and when they work, employers can maximise the potential of the young talent they have," he added.

The results showed that only 20 per cent of managers agreed with graduates about IM and webcams. The majority (63 per cent) also said that they thought graduates were less vocal than their colleagues and were forsaking face-to-face and telephone conversations in favour of e-mail communication.

However, the majority (64 per cent) of graduates and managers did agree that face-to-face meetings were the best way of communicating, although less than a third (31 per cent) actually have the time to attend such meetings.

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