Unify Blog

Sometimes a number of trends or research findings arrive around the same time. Perhaps they are unrelated, but they are still interesting or startling enough to make you stop and think about them.

So in this article, I want to share four things I recently came across that made me stop and think – hopefully you will find them interesting and thought provoking as well.

44% of North American households have no home phone

1) 44% of North American households have no home phone and over half either have no land line or don’t use the one they have, according to a new study by GfK. This trend has been progressing for a number of years, but it seems like we’ve past the tipping point now. Inside the data, two-thirds of Millennial households have no landline, while about one-third of Baby Boomer households have no wired phone connection.

Beyond the ultimate destination for the home landline (extinction?) – it really underscores how far we have come in terms of being “mobile-first”, anywhere ready, and being untethered. I also wonder if some innovation might come along that will reinvigorate the value and interest in the home phone, and reverse its precipitous decline?

Only 35% of Managers are fully engaged in their job

2) A new Gallup study says only 35% of Managers are fully engaged in their job. I guess that helps explain the findings that we have been tracking for a while now – that a relatively small minority of employees are fully engaged in their work. One could argue that disengaged managers spawn teams of disengaged employees, leading to a resultant drop in productivity, innovation and employee retention (not to mention the impact on customer satisfaction).

In our era of distributed and virtual teams, can technology help bring managers and employees together more closely, and overcome some of this lack of engagement? Maybe setting aside email directives and one-directional conference calls would be a start. Tools like Circuit may provide a more human experience that is more collaborative, conversation-based and engages all the senses with audio, video, rich content sharing and text messaging.

Business functions are now equal to IT in terms of influence

3) Among corporate technology buyers, business functions are now equal to IT in terms of influence on the choice of technology outcomes, according to research firm IDG. Again, this is not a new trend, but if we believe this IDG study then we have hit another tipping point for the democratization of IT decision making, budget and influence.

This means department leaders and business functions may be wise to seek out solutions (often cloud-based and subscription licensed) that help them be more productive and allow their teams to achieve their goals most effectively and efficiently.

It is time to make way for Generation-Z

4) According to articles like those found here and here, it is time to make way for Generation-Z.

Although we may not yet be done musing about Generation-Y (that is, Millennials), there has been an rush of new content and analysis on the rise of Generation-Z (or the “Networked” generation, as some have said).  The Gen-Z cohort, now perhaps 17 and under, have grown up in a fully digital, socially-networked world with smart devices in hand (or never far away).

Their content is online, streaming and shared. They communicate in short bursts rather than logical articulations.  There are emerging questions about how the use (overuse?) of ubiquitous communication technology has on attention span.  But, they do have the most refined thumb-motor coordination in the history of our species. The Gen-Z discussion has only begun … stay tuned.

So, tell us what do you think. Are these trends and findings related or intersecting in some way? How will they affect your organization?

Global Marketing at Unify

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Posted in New Way To Work