Workplace communications technology does not meet the expectations of teenagers, reveals survey


New research reveals a massive disconnect between how teenagers prefer to communicate and the preferred method of communication used in business today.

The findings, included in a new report – entitled ‘The App Generation: how employees of the future are shaping the world of work’ from business communications specialist Fuze – show that just 1 per cent of teenagers prefer to use a landline telephone to communicate with friends, yet 63 per cent of UK office workers see the desk phone as an essential item for work. It highlights a potential future challenge for businesses that have not yet embraced mobile and unified communications.

The survey of 2,500 teenagers and 5,000 adult office workers across Europe, also found that the majority of teenagers (57 per cent) use video calling apps, but under half (47 per cent) of adults use video calls in work, further highlighting the communications expectations of the future workforce.

Other findings reveal that UK teenagers are ahead of their European counterparts in using workplace technologies such as email, PowerPoint and Word, with 58 per cent receiving training for these applications in school. However, only 12 per cent of UK teenagers aged 15 to 18 years have received lessons in how to code computing languages at school, which is lower than France (25 per cent), Germany (13 per cent) and the Netherlands (19 per cent). These findings are contrary to the government’s shift in focus for technology in the curriculum from softer ICT skills to harder coding skills of computing.

There are also insights into the attitudes of 500 UK teenagers towards technology in the workplace. For example, 82 per cent of respondents want to be able to use the latest technology at work. Interestingly, 66 per cent adult workers believe their workplace technology is inferior to their personal technology.

“It seems that schools are making significant efforts to ensure young people are ready for work. The bigger question, however, is whether the world of work is ready for them. This is the first generation that has grown up in a world of ‘always on’ connectivity, where carrying a computer around in your pocket is the norm,” commented commented Luca Lazzaron, SVP of International Operations at Fuze.

She added: “Meanwhile the world of business has struggled to keep up with that pace of change. Workplace technologies are still not ‘mobile first’ in the way that this generation’s approach to technology is. The ‘app generation’s’ relationship with technology is going to have a significant impact when they enter the workplace, whether what they’ve learnt in school is how to code or how to create slideshows.”

The full report can be downloaded here:


About Author

Gary Eastwood

Gary Eastwood has over 15 years of experience as a technology and business journalist and editor. He has held editorship positions on customer magazines for Microsoft, CSC, and EDF, as well as on B2B magazine Mobile Enterprise. He is the former Deputy Editor of Computer Business Review. In a freelance role, Gary has contributed numerous features and articles to a broad range of publications, including New Scientist, Computer Weekly, MIS, Marketing Week, Corporate Financier, Real Business, Wireless Business Review, and driven marketing communications projects for clients, such as Intel, the Confederation of British Industry, IBM, Logicalis, the Department of Trade & Innovation, and many others. Gary has written many white papers on a range of ITC subjects for Datamonitor. He is also an editorial photographer and business videographer, and has authored and ghost-written four books on photography. He is the Co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, which provides contract/customer magazines for a growing list of clients, and publishes the B2B magazine for business leaders, Strategist.