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Generation Z defies the stereotype it is driving consumerisation of IT at work, finds Computacenter study

David Woods , 16 Apr 2012

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More than half of Generation Z (people aged between 16 and 24) do not want an iPhone or tablet device in the office, according to research from Computacenter a provider of IT infrastructure services.

The survey of 1,000 staff and 200 IT decision makers dispels the assumption that Generation Z, who have grown up with smartphones and social networks, are driving the consumerisation of IT in the workplace.

Almost 45% of Generation Z believe company control is more important than an employee's freedom to use their own device, indicating that business comes first.

When asked if businesses should allow social networks in the office, only 16% of Generation Z think they should. In addition, only 22% admit to using devices to access personal applications in the office, indicating it is a common misconception that generation z must have constant access to social platforms.

Barry Hoffman, HR director, Computacenter, said: "Our findings clearly show it's not about consumerisation of IT, but corporatisation of Generation Z.

"Although their personal lives are dictated by the latest gadget and social networks, all many of them want at work are the tools to do the job. This is clearly a wakeup call for businesses that have assumed for too long that Generation Z is obsessed by the latest technology. Businesses must change their attitudes if they want to effectively engage and motivate their workers to perform to the best of their ability. "

Hoffman added: "Organisations shouldn't assume that employees want the coolest device just because they have been brought up on the latest technology. It's more important to understand their desire to be constantly connected and gain immediate access to information. Providing tools that enable this sort of collaboration will be key to recruiting and subsequently motivating workers."

Most employers allow employees to use personal devices, but have policies to limit this - only 16% have unlimited personal device use and only 23% of Generation Z completely disregard polices around use of personal devices.

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