European workers want to use more innovative digital technology at work but confess they lack the skills to make it effective, according to a study commissioned by Ricoh UK.
Nearly 40% of the 3,600 workers surveyed said a lack of skills stops the introduction of new technology being useful. 67% want employers to put more emphasis on training while only 27% think their company invests the right amount.
Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh UK said: “There is a great deal of hype in Europe around digital empowerment and its impact on productivity. While AI and automation will transform the way that we work, a lack of training will drastically reduce ROI. Businesses need to consider the person who will be using the new technology. No amount of infrastructure spending will help a business that isn’t encouraging its staff to develop the right skills”.
Tellingly, 34% of employees say they still don’t feel equipped to properly use even the more common software and hardware solutions – such as Microsoft Office, multi-function printers and PCs – let alone newer technologies such as complex process automation.
In addition, there are concerns about a growing generational gap. 70% agree younger employees are better suited to working with new types of technology. As a result, 33% of employees worry they will soon be out of a job.
Moloney added: “Despite headlines about being replaced by robots, Europe’s workers see technology as a way to do higher value work not something that will replace them. However, improving workers’ confidence to use new technology is not a catch-all situation. Successfully empowering digital workplaces requires different skillsets and a variety of needs must be catered for. Engaging with workers at every step is vital.”