It’s been a monumental year for individuals and industries on all corners of the globe, and as the COVID-19 crisis continues, there’s no denying the impact and influence of technology as we navigate the uncertainty ahead.
Recognising this, Windsor Telecom decided to survey the UK general public, hoping to uncover the biggest tech-based pain points experienced throughout the 2020 lockdown, hoping this data can be used to determine the tools and technologies needed to bridge the generational gaps in the workforce.
After speaking to people of diverse ages and professions, here’s what the company discovered:
“What greatly frustrated me during lockdown was my lack of technical skills which mostly has to do with my age – 73. My main work is teaching live seminars which were all cancelled and won’t start up again until next spring. I bravely attempted to teach a few seminars online and my confidence was hugely dented when the screen blanked out or lighting was so poor that those online couldn’t see me clearly. I am now doing my best in a world where I was left behind because I never foresaw what was coming” – Stella Ralfinis, 73
“We were all promised that the networks and broadband providers had the bandwidth and capacity to cope; clearly they didn’t account for my three iPads, iPhones and MacBooks and a host of other devices like my Apple and Amazon TV that all needed to be connected all the time! Then there’s WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom. Why does everyone want to see everyone? What’s wrong with just talking on the phone with no video? It’s ok to just speak on audio only” – Christian Azolan, 37
“The biggest issue we have had during lockdown is having to interview people via Zoom (for a podcast) and having their audio cut in and out. There’s no way to salvage it and makes it a waste of everyone’s time. An issue we never had to deal with when we were sitting with people face-to-face” – Lindsey Evans, 31
“As a travel influencer and blogger with over 72k Instagram followers, I constantly have to be connected to the internet to manage my online business. Since the WiFi connection in my house is very bad, it was very inconvenient to work from home. Frequently, the WiFi suddenly stops working. Also, it costs lots of time when there is a power outage (which happens quite a lot in my home). Normally, I work a lot at other places, such as the library or a Starbucks, but because of the lockdown I couldn’t go there. Therefore, I lost a lot of time due to these technical issues” – Dymohe Mensink, 22
On top of this, Windsor Telecom analysed customer call data from 2010, 2019, and January–July this year, amounting to over 73.9 million calls. In doing so, the organisation hoped to shed light on the future of technology in the workplace, homing in on areas that need investment and improvement in an attempt to plug growing generational gaps in digital skills.
- As the UK went into lockdown in March this year, 44% less business calls were made when compared with the same period in 2019
- This trend continued into May 2020, with 40% less business calls being made when compared to the same time last year
- In total, 28% less business calls were made between March and July 2020 compared to the same period in 2019
Talkin’ ’bout my generation
The workforce of tomorrow is virtual, and businesses must act now, investing in employee training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to ensure everyone has the technical foundation needed to thrive in an increasingly connected workplace – regardless of age, background experience. Failure to adopt a more flexible and inclusive tech-based training structure that supports multi-generational working risks companies falling behind to the point of no return.
“It’s vital that employers address the fundamental changes we’re seeing across all generations,” said Pete Tomlinson, CEO of Windsor Telecom.
“Lockdown has forced a conversation that needed to be had higher up the agenda because many employees are struggling to use the technology needed day to day, and employers are searching for straightforward and reliable solutions that work for all.”