Technology capability is a key criterion for Singaporean workers deciding whether their organisation is a good place to work – reveals a new survey from PGi (Premiere Global). As much as 91% Singaporean workers agree that an organisation’s technology capability is critical when evaluating workplaces’ attractiveness and competencies.
Singaporean workers feel that Gen Ys are leading the charge in the use of technology such as online tools within the workplace. Three in four Singaporean workers (75%) 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 and web conferencing and instant messaging.
When asked about the types of tools Gen Y’s have helped to introduce into the workplace, instant messaging (such as MSN and Yahoo!) topped the list for most Singaporeans, with 75% saying that it is now being used as a business tool. Thanks to Gen Ys, 64% agreed that it is now acceptable for social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to be used in office environment. 58% also said that Gen Ys had helped to introduce video conferencing and web conferencing to the office environment.
“It’s positive to see that companies in Singapore are realising the benefits of adopting online tools such as Facebook and instant messaging for their business communications, something that only a few years ago may have been frowned upon. It’s clear that Gen Ys are helping to drive this adoption, and organisations are not only listening to the younger generation, but recognise the opportunities and benefits these tools can offer,” says Joanne Rigby, Asia-Pacific marketing director at PGi.
The Workplace Generation Gap
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 61% who agreed that there is a generational divide in their office, 76% felt that it could undermine the use of online tools.
"While 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,” Joanne notes. “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.”
What is the Future of the Workplace?
The good news is that Singaporean businesses appear to be on the right track when talking about evolving the workplace to cater to a younger generation of employees. Nearly 80% felt that they were already in that process or will soon be.
The concept of flexible working also resonated strongly amongst Singaporean workers. ‘Flexible working hours’ (70%) and ‘greater training requirements’ (66%) were the two highest priorities when workers were asked how their workplaces should adapt. Meanwhile, the use of laptops or smart phones to enable flexible working hours (65%) and the use of more online tools to enable effective information sharing (65%) both compete on the wish lists of Singaporean workers.
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