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Eric Krapf
Eric Krapf is the Program Co-Chair of the Enterprise Connect events, helping to set program content and direction for the...
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Eric Krapf | January 27, 2009 |

 
   

Will the Recession Change Collaboration?

Will the Recession Change Collaboration? In the current economy, nobody's going to turn down an otherwise acceptable job because the workplace still uses TDM telephones and doesn't have a company wiki.

In the current economy, nobody's going to turn down an otherwise acceptable job because the workplace still uses TDM telephones and doesn't have a company wiki.

Middle-aged guys like me might be tempted to chortle over articles like this one, where Millenials appear to be getting their comeuppance from the tough economy. But there are actually some good points in there about collaboration and work styles that touch on the way we've been talking about Unified Communications over the past couple of years.My first, superficial thought on reading that Millenials no longer go into job interviews wondering what the employer can do for them, was to think about how many UC presentations I've sat through where somebody was saying that, "The younger generation is used to this kind of communications, and companies will have to provide it for them." Certainly in the current economy, nobody's going to turn down an otherwise acceptable job because the workplace still uses TDM telephones and doesn't have a company wiki.

On the other hand, what these young workers might not feel is constrained to use only the tools that are handed to them. The feature that we just posted, from Mike Jude, demonstrates how employees are able to create their own communications/collaboration space, and how they aren't likely to avoid doing it just because nobody gave them permission in advance. It's about work habits, not sense of entitlement. In other words, you won't lose that promising young fresh-faced grad to another employer, but once they come on board--that's when you have to worry.

And as the Economist article goes on to note, social networking still offers the opportunity to make workers more productive and save the company money, and the younger workers are the ones who gravitate to this technology most naturally. If I were a young worker today interested in hanging onto a job, I'd maybe take it upon myself to spearhead my company's or department's forays into social networking, and offer to "mentor" the older workers. And if I were one of the older workers, I'd listen.In the current economy, nobody's going to turn down an otherwise acceptable job because the workplace still uses TDM telephones and doesn't have a company wiki.



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