New Ofcom research confirms that youngsters are more tech-savvy than the old-timers

Ofcom has produced another Communications Market Report (its eleventh in fact) which measures knowledge of communications technology and assigns a "digital quotient" (DQ) of how tech-savvy people are (among many other statistics).

And it would seem the youngsters of the UK (the study covered 800 children, as well as 2,000 adults) claim to know just as much about tech as their parents, with six-year-olds having a slightly bigger average DQ at 98 than 45-year-olds at 96. The strongest demographic was 14 to 15-year-olds who scored a DQ of 113, and the numbers drop rapidly when you get to the 60-plus age group.

Ofcom notes that 12 to 15-year-olds are communicating in a fundamentally different manner from preceding generations, with just 3 per cent making phone calls, and the vast majority of communication, 94 per cent, being texts or instant messages. That compares to 20 per cent of adults who make voice calls, and 33 per cent who use emails (only 2 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds use email).

Read more: Ofcom: How to protect your children online

The report churned out a lot of other stats. For example, 16 to 24-year-olds are rabid multi-taskers and avid media and comms fiends, cramming 14 hours of digital media and communications into just over nine hours every day by using different media and devices simultaneously (say, watching the TV and using a smartphone at the same time).

Tablets and smartphones continue to rise in popularity, with 44 per cent of households now owning a tablet – a big increase from 24 per cent a year ago. 61 per cent of UK adults own a smartphone, up from 51 per cent.

When it came to workers, 24 per cent felt that technology improves their work-life balance, with 49 per cent reckoning it doesn't make much difference either way, and 16 per cent saying it's making things worse.

And the majority, 60 per cent, said they have to partake of work-related communications in their leisure time, mostly in the evening at home. One in ten handle work-related emails or texts in bed, either last thing at night, or first thing in the morning.

James Thickett, Ofcom Director of Research, commented: "While gadgets can prove a distraction, technology is actually improving work-life balance for some. Six in ten of us do some form of working outside of normal hours, but the trade-off is that we're making personal calls and doing our life-admin at work."