Tech hinders 42% of Irish professionals work-life balance

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60% of older workers fear the introduction of new technologies

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2 March 2020 | 0

While the majority (80%) of Irish employees hoped that tech-enabled remote working capabilities would have improved their work-life balance, research from Walters People Ireland found that the reality has been different. Indeed, 42% of Irish professionals believe current smart working practices have negatively impacted their work-life balance.

The surveys 2,000 participants showed understanding of the benefits of digital transformation in the workplace. Employees believed that technology could enhance their productivity (85%), boost morale (80%), enhance coordination between departments (78%) and improve workflow (72%).

Still, the challenges of digital transformation were not overlooked. Employees resented the expectation that they should “always be on,” with (42%) stating that tech negatively impacts their work-life balance.

 

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Further, some participants struggled to learn and apply new technologies (31%), while others were concerned about tech replacing jobs (22%).

The survey also highlighted discrepancies between older and younger workers. While 44% of Millennials believe that employers should adopt the latest technologies, just 25% of Generation X and 11% of Baby Boomers are in favour of this. In fact, 60% of Generation X and Baby Boomers are fearful of new technologies being introduced and 35% have yet to get a full grasp on the current technologies used in their workplace.

For many Millennials, technology is the root of workplace tension; 34% said that older workers not understanding technology was the chief cause of conflict in the workplace, followed closely by younger workers becoming frustrated at using outdated technology (33%).

Sarah Owen, director, Walters People Ireland said: “Digital transformation of the workplace should be a top-down initiative; executive support and adoption is crucial – especially when trying to prove the commercial and rational benefits for both the organisation and the individual.

“All too often in companies we see senior leaders stick to their traditional working methods whilst expecting employees to accommodate this; as well as new, innovative processes introduced by the IT department.

“The solution is simple; if there is a new intranet or instant messaging platform introduced then the senior business executives should communicate via these means regularly. If the business has moved towards a cloud-based sharing system – then managers need to ensure that they are the primary users which will naturally drive employees to adopt these practices.”

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