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Workplace tech lagging behind our personal lives

Technology in the workplace is lagging behind what we use in our personal lives, and for the younger ones starting to work, that’s a big no-no.

Those are the results of a fairly comprehensive survey of the workforce in the UK, done by business communications company Fuze. It has surveyed 22 million UK workers (72 per cent), and it expanded the survey with attitudes and expectations of 5,000 workers and 2,500 teenagers.

The report, entitled ‘The app generation: how employees of the future are shaping the way we work’, shows that teenagers probably feel they’d been thrown back in time when they enter an office. Desk phones, printers, pen and paper are considered essential workplace items, but not for the average teen.

They are 25 per cent more likely to consider the smartphone an essential item, with 75 per cent of teenagers saying it is important to use the latest technology at work.

When it comes to communication, there’s a huge discrepancy – just 2 per cent of teenagers use a landline, while texting, video and mobile communication is gaining popularity.

Video is set to basically replace voice communication, according to 59 per cent of workers.

“The app generation has grown up with mobile as the default. They are used to doing everything on their smartphone, especially communicating, and the current business technology set-up isn’t anywhere near ready for that,” comments Luca Lazzaron, Senior Vice President of International Operations, Fuze.

Together with using new technologies, workers seem to be enjoying the idea of working from home, and the trend is set to continue growing. The report says that 89 per cent of office workers see benefits of being able to work somewhere other than the office.

“Businesses today have traditional ideas of where and what work is, and the technology that matches those traditional ideas – landline phones, desktop computers, even fax machines. Young people won’t know where to start with these outdated technologies. Their mobile-first, flexible, ‘app for everything’ approach marks a much better way of working and our research shows it’s not just young people who feel workplace technology simply isn’t up to scratch. That’s why businesses need to take action now, not just to safeguard themselves for the future, but to provide the tools their employees need today, to be able to work most effectively.”