Business tech is dragging behind consumer tech, say UK workers

Half of workers say the technology their employer supplies is inadequate for efficient work practices

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Technology at work must catch up with what we’re using in our personal lives, according to 72% of today’s workforce.

The study, which examined the attitudes and expectations of 5,000 workers and 2,500 teenagers on how, revealed a large disconnect between the expectations of young people and the realities they will face at work.

Today’s workers consider desk phones, printers, pens and paper as essential workplace items, yet teenagers think very differently, the survey by Fuze showed.

>See also: Half of UK workers feel hindered by lack of digital services 

Teenage respondents were 25% more likely than today’s employees to view a smartphone as an essential work item, and three quarters of them said using the latest technology at work is important.

Just 2% of the teenagers surveyed used a landline, preferring text-based, video and mobile communication

The research also highlighted dissatisfaction among current workers, with 51% saying the technology they use at work is inadequate for working effectively.

This leads to significant ‘shadow IT’, with 39% using their own mobile phones for work and many working with software outside of IT’s control, including messaging apps (32%) and video calling (25%).

The research findings also link closely to the rise in working from home and suggest the trend will continue, with 89% of office workers seeing benefits in being able to work somewhere other than the office and 65% agreeing they could work effectively from home, if they had the right technology.

In addition, the report predicted how communication technology will change, with 59% of workers believing video will eventually replace voice.

This statistic was echoed in teenage behaviour, with 8% preferring to communicate with friends via video call — fewer than in person or via text-based communication, but the same figure as prefer mobile voice.

>See also: IT sits at the heart of inefficiencies that cost each UK business an average salary

“The app generation has grown up with mobile as the default,” said Luca Lazzaron, senior VP of international operations, Fuze. “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.

“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.”

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