Gen Y: Tech-Obsessed or Tech-Fatigued?

Published by Gina Wentling | Topics: Associations, Blended Learning, Conferences, Content Strategy, Online Publishing, Training

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tired male office workerAre you too plugged in for your own good? According to “Tech Overload? Gen Y Workers are Feeling It, Study Says,” by Emma Beck of ASAE’s Associations Now blog, 58% of always-connected millennials are overwhelmed. Only 48% of boomers, Gen X, and traditionalists (age 65+) felt the same.

The lines between technology use for work and play are blurring. Many people use personal devices for work activities. It should come as no surprise that the opposite is true as well. Workers are known for “homing from work” as much (if not more) as they’re known for working from home.

Tech overload can spell poor productivity, but it doesn’t have to. Balance is the key to success. Be reasonable about how much tech it takes to do the best job you can, and know where to draw the line between enough and a distracting amount. If you listen to music on your phone, your productivity is probably not in jeopardy. If, however, you’re texting throughout your lunch (and sometimes at your desk) and playing games every chance you get, it might be time to power down the device for a while.

Some work, like collaboration, is better done using the traditional method. Sixty percent of millennials prefer to work together in person. When all age groups are taken together, that number rises just a bit, to 72%. Millennials may be techier than other generations, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still people who like to work with other people. Let’s not assume too much about them.

You may see younger professionals carrying tablets and smartphones at your conferences but consider this—they are coming to your conference. Virtual sessions alone aren’t cutting it. Participating in professional development in the same time and place as their peers and colleagues is valuable.

The same can be said about continuing education training. Instructor-led training is best consumed in a room, with others. Blended learning solutions can feed their need for online content.

Millennials have gained much from their near-constant connection to technology, but they have also taken on more of the disadvantages—overload, fatigue, even physical manifestations like “text neck” and “text thumb injury.”

Members of Generation Y are the future leaders of your association. Taking the time to understand them now, and continuing to watch them grow and change, can spell success for your association as it looks to attract and retain the next generation.


About Gina Wentling

During her time as Marketing Communications Coordinator (2013-16), Gina wrote hundreds of blog posts for Omnipress. Her work has also been published in association publications. Read More.

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