Cisco Global Study Shows How Technology Shapes "Future of Work"

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Organizations Must Shift Policies to Meet Demands of Gen X and Gen Y Professionals, with Two-Thirds Preferring Flexible Work Styles

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – 9 December 2014 – Workforce demands by Generation X and Millennial workers to increase flexible work styles have been met with employers shifting their own policies to accommodate these changing attitudes, according to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR).

Among other findings, the report also revealed that by the year 2020, the majority of Generation X and Y professionals believe that smartphones and wearable devices will be the workforce’s most important “connected” device – while the laptop remains the workplace device of choice.  

Overall, the CCWTR report demonstrates the fundamental ways in which technology is shaping the future of work and how the devices, apps, and solutions preferred by these generations are enabling new ways of working.

These shifts include the rise of the “Supertasker” using four devices, and changes in the way workers and businesses view remote working (44 percent of Millennials feel most productive in the office), application use (six in 10 respondents prefer a pen and paper to the hottest note taking app) and global talent recruitment (50 percent of hiring managers would hire from only video interviews).

These findings also offer insights into the potential impact emerging smart devices, such as wearables, will have on IT and the creators of IT strategy, especially with the emergence of the Internet of Everything (IoE), which is creating new forms of connectivity and changing communications for the next generation of workers.

As in previous years, the CCWTR shows the mindset, expectations, and behavior of the world’s next generation of workers, this year with added insights into Gen X and Human Resources workers, and how they value their connectivity (over physical needs), view their availability for work communications (24/7) and how these quirks shape enterprise IT and security policy, product development and design, and the ability of businesses to compete.

Key Findings

Death of the 9-to-5 Workday – The Always-on Lifestyle

  • More than half of professionals (Gen X and Gen Y) consider themselves accessible for work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including 3 in 10 who are accessible by both email and phone.

Gen X & Y prefer flexible work schedules, willing to work at odd hours in return

  • Most Gen X professionals believe Gen Y employees would prefer a flexible work schedule, although Gen Y professionals tend to slightly prefer a traditional work schedule, at 54 percent. 

Work Flexibility an Attractive Recruiting Tool

  • Roughly two thirds of professionals believe that an organization that has adopted a flexible, mobile, and remote work model has a competitive advantage over one that requires employees to be in the office from 9 am to 5 pm every weekday.

Wearable Devices will be more important than Smartphones

  • In the year 2020, the largest proportion of respondents believe a worker’s most important connected device will be a smartphone. Slightly more Gen X professionals believe a connected wearable device will be most important, compared to Gen Y professionals.

BYOS (Bring Your Own Stuff) is the New BYOD

  • BYOD is now pervasive: 4 in 10 HR professionals indicate all employees within their organization are allowed to connect any device to their network in order to do their jobs.

Is the “Supertasker” the most desirable employee of the future?

  • More than 4 in 10 Gen X and Gen Y professionals, as well as nearly 6 in 10 HR professionals, consider themselves to be a “Supertasker,” defined as an individual who can successfully do more than two things at once, and do them well.

The Future of HR and Recruiting

  • Nearly 6 in 10 (58 percent) HR professionals would be willing to hire a candidate by only interviewing the candidate using video conferencing (without ever conducting an interview in person).

Supporting Quotes:

Rabih Dabboussi, General Manager, Cisco UAE:
“The UAE is an epicenter for rapid workplace changes, thanks to an always-connected culture of young people entering the workforce. Our Connected World Technology Report shows that the UAE’s CIOs must plan to scale their networks and shift work policies to gain a competitive advantage, enable more flexible work schedules, and enhance productivity.”


Note to Editor:
To access the full Cisco Connected World Technology Report 2014 and related content, visit:

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