Technology capability is a key criterion for workers deciding whether their organisation is a good place to work - reveals a new survey from PGi (Premiere Global). As much as 87% Hong Kong workers agree that an organisation’s technology capability is critical when evaluating workplaces' attractiveness and competencies.
The survey, commissioned by PGi in 2010 asked a total of 1,000 full-time office workers in Hong Kong, Singapore
and Australia about the current state of their workplace - such as the role that technology plays now and in the future, as the younger generation of employees enter the workplace.
Gen Ys Drive Adoption of Online Tools
Hong Kong workers feel that Gen Ys are leading the charge in the use of technology such as online tools within the workplace. Nine out of ten Hong Kong workers (87%) point to the fact that Gen Ys are at the heart of this change, with the introduction of more online business tools such as social networking
, video conferencing
, web conferencing and instant messaging.
When asked about the types of tools Gen Y's have helped to introduce into the workplace, instant messenger with social media topped the list for most Hong Kong workers, with 49% saying that it is now being used as a business tool. Thanks to Gen Ys, 60% agreed that it is now acceptable for social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to be used in office environment. 41% also said that Gen Ys had helped to introduce video conferencing and web conferencing to the office environment.
Although there is an abundance of positive change, the survey identified a potential “workplace generation gap” -defined as a lack of awareness of how different generations of employees prefer to work. This could be a key stumbling block in further adoption of online tools. Of the 65% who agreed that there is a generational divide in their office, 82% felt that it could undermine the use of online tools.
"Whilst it's good to see businesses catering to the needs of younger employees, it's important to not forget the baby boomers in the company who didn't grow up with technologies such as webinars, web conferencing and wikis," notes Joanne Rigby, Asia-Pacific marketing director at PGi. "The key lies in having appropriate training and support so that all employees can feel encouraged and use online business tools for their day-to-day work," Joanne advises.
The Future of the Workplace
The good news is that Hong Kong businesses appear to be on the right track when talking about evolving the workplace to cater to a younger generation of employees. Over 70% felt that they were already in that process or will soon be.
The concept of flexible working also resonated strongly amongst Hong Kong workers. “Greater training requirements” (62%) and “Flexible working hours” (53%) were the two highest priorities when workers were asked how their workplaces should adapt. Meanwhile, the expansion of the use of online tools (53%) to enable more effective information sharing, compete on the wish lists of Hong Kong workers.
"As an increasing number of Gen Ys and indeed Gen Zs enter the workforce, it will certainly be interesting to see how we measure up in the next few years," Joanne concludes.
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