Learners unprepared for digital age – study

by Brett Henebery19 Apr 2017
A new study has found that most learners in the Asia Pacific do not feel empowered to embrace the demands of the digital workplace.

Microsoft’s Asia Workplace 2020 Study found that while 66% of learners consider themselves mobile workers, only 45% feel empowered by their organisation’s culture and management to work together productively and collaboratively.

The study – which involved nearly 4,200 employees from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

It examined shifting employee behaviours and gaps in the workplace when it came to productivity, collaboration and flexi-work practices.

The report also found that only 32% of learners agree their organisation is committed at a leadership level to ensure every employee is included in closing the digital skills gaps within the workforce.

Sharon Schoenborn, director of the Office Business Group at Microsoft Australia, said organisations “need to rethink how they empower their workforce with the right culture, policy, infrastructure and tools to maximise their potential”.

“This means enabling collaboration from anywhere, on any device,” Schoenborn said in a statement on Tuesday.

“However, it is also critical for business leaders to evaluate and implement changes to counter cultural and management challenges that are hindering employees to work seamlessly from wherever they are.”

Schoenborn said these challenges can hinder an organisation’s growth and progress in the digital age.

Around the world, there is growing acceptance that digital literacy is a cornerstone of training in the 21st century workplace, but many learners lack the skills needed to keep up with the pace of technological change.

For example, research shows that more than half (55%) of Australian workers don’t think that they have the digital skills to guarantee future employability. A further two-thirds (67%) believe that digitisation of the workforce requires different skill sets to those available at their current employer.

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