Accepting a Job Offer? Ask About the Perks.

Posted by The Editors on November 3, 2011
Accepting a Job Offer? Ask About the Perks.

A newly released Cisco study finds that young professionals and recent college students are setting their priorities a bit differently than previous generations. According to the study, Gen Ys are “getting increasingly more demanding about their workplace flexibility when it comes to their choice of computing devices, work hours, and access to social media networks during the workday.”

I can understand with the social media boom in recent years that going without checking Facebook all day would make a person a little anxious. What if someone sent me a Facebook message at 9 a.m. and I couldn’t get back to him until the end of the day? It would feel like I’d been putting that person on hold for eight hours.

The reality is social media sites are how a majority of young people communicate, so it’s hardly surprising that more people are asking about social media freedom before accepting job offers. And as for workplace flexibility, working remotely can save a person a fortune on commuting—not to mention a lot of wasted time sitting on a train or in traffic,

What did surprise me, however, is that a third of college students and people under 30 said they would prioritize social media access, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary. Times are certainly changing. Ideally, in a recession-free era, where salaries aren’t at an all-time low, I could see more people choosing these work luxuries over a higher salary. But times are dire, and it doesn’t sound realistic. Or does it?

After reading about this shift of priorities in the workplace, I started to re-think one of our WetFeet articles, “Accepting a Job Offer? Ask These 10 Questions First.” Since times are changing, perhaps we should change with them and add these items to the list. 

Here are a few more questions to ask before accepting a job offer:

1. Is the company flexible in terms of work mobility?
If the salary is a bit lower than you expected, it might be worth it to see whether you can get added benefits. If it costs you over $100 a month to commute to work, working from home every so often might be something you could try to negotiate.

2. What is the company’s policy on social media sites during work hours?
This is always good to know. The last thing you want to do is get caught checking your Facebook or LinkedIn account when the company frowns upon it. And don’t automatically assume your access is blocked. Many companies are changing their social media policies to position themselves for better marketing and outreach opportunities. If you’re someone who likes to tweet and post on Facebook, and you wouldn’t mind doing it every so often for the company, mention this and see if they’ll consider. 

3. Does the company issue computers and phones to their employees? Are they allowed for personal use?
Some companies will issue their employees work computers and cell phones. Whether or not you like the idea of carrying around two phones all the time, ask your interviewer if they allow employees to combine work and personal contacts to have a single phone. One less thing to carry and one less thing to forget back on your kitchen counter every morning.

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