Youngsters feel workplace tech is behind the times

Texting and video communications should be more common in the workplace, according to young people in the UK entering or about to enter work for the first time.

Business communications company Fuze surveyed 22 million UK workers, as well as capturing the attitudes and expectations of 5,000 workers and 2,500 teenagers. The results of the survey show that young workers feel technology in the workplace has fallen far behind that which we use in our personal lives.

Desk phones, printers, even paper and pens are not considered essential workplace items, according to the average teen. Fuze’s report, entitled ‘The app generation: How employees of the future are shaping the way we work’, revealed that 25 per cent are more likely to consider the smartphone as an essential item, with 75 per cent of teenagers saying they should be able to use the latest technology at work.

For instance, only two per cent of teenagers said they use a landline phone. Instead, they wish to send text messages and use other forms of mobile and video communication, notes.

Luca Lazzaron, the senior vice president of international operations at Fuze, points out that young people – or ‘the app generation’ – have grown up with mobile communication like texting as the default. They are used to doing everything on their smartphone, especially communicating, and that 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 Young people won’t know where to start with these outdated technologies,” says Lazzaron.

“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.”

When it comes to working effectively, a whopping 89 per cent of office workers said that they see the benefits of being able to work in other places besides the office, such as the comfort of their homes. In many cases it could increase productivity; parents of young children, for example, could relieve themselves of the stress that comes with hiring child care if they could work a full day at home, communicating with colleagues via text message and video.