Technology is everywhere in modern times; from home entertainment systems to personal computers of countless varieties to the smartphones we all constantly carry on our person, tech is truly unavoidable. With this in mind, it comes as something of a surprise to hear that a recent survey of 1,250 IT professionals from the UK, US, Germany and France conducted by software company Barco found that a lack of digital skills among workers is costing many businesses in terms of both finances and productivity.

The survey revealed that boardroom technology is the aspect with which office workers struggled most. The average company reportedly experiences 11 problems with boardroom technology each week, and these issues generally take the longest to resolve, leading to meeting being delayed and business being affected as a result.

Generation X and Millennials seem to struggle the most with office technology, while Generation Z and the over 55s demographic fare much better. The problem appears more widespread here in the UK than it is in other surveyed countries, as the study also found that UK respondents are the most likely to ask for assistance from IT professionals, and are more likely to state that dealing with IT problems is not their responsibility.

The issue affects some parts of the UK more substantially than others however; 74% of respondents in the North and Midlands cited a lack of digital skills as in issue, compared to just 55% of those from London.

George Stromeyer, Senior Vice President of the Enterprise Division at Barco, says that the results underline a much wider productivity problem currently being faced by the UK. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK lags at least 16% behind the rest of the G7 group of industrial nations in terms of national productivity, and Stromeyer believes that our apparent lack of tech-savvy workers is a big contributing factor.

Stromeyer said of the results, “If you are going to tackle productivity, you need to get a handle on the basics. Meetings are critical, yet we routinely put up with them being delayed by tech issues. Ten minutes wasted at the start of a meeting may sound insignificant – but across every meeting taking place in every UK company, that’s hundreds of thousands of hours and billions of pounds wasted.”

Lieven Bertier, Head of Product Management at Barco ClickShare also commented, “Issues around technology remains a major hurdle for businesses to overcome. The research shows that presentation issues are the most common of all technology problem for businesses, which take up a lot of employee’s time and can have a large impact on the reputation of the company and workforce productivity.

“Business leaders and IT decision makers can address presentation problems with the deployment of easy to use wireless technology, removing the need for training and minimising disruption caused in meetings.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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