Fax machine

Nearly a third of workers in Europe still consider the fax machine (remember those?!) to be an 'essential' part of business operations, and more important than tablets.

That’s according to a new report from business communications technology provider Fuze, looking at the impact of young people joining the workforce.

The report, based on research with 5,000 employees, highlights the outdated communication technologies still in use across Europe. Thirty per cent of UK office workers still see the fax machine as an essential office item - a figure that jumps to 39% in Germany and 42% in France. Meanwhile desktop computers are viewed as being more important than laptops, tablets and smartphones.

The views of workers contrast significantly with the ‘App Generation’, with a survey of 2,500 15 to 18 year olds revealing that they consider smartphones and tablets to be significantly more important, with desktop computers coming in at the bottom of their top ten list of essential items.

These teenagers also have little time for traditional office phones, with the majority considering pens, calculators and even staplers as being more important in the workplace.

Luca Lazzaron, senior vice president of international operations at Fuze, said: “It’s astonishing to see just how many businesses still rely on outdated technologies like the fax machine. As the new generation of employees starts to enter the workforce, businesses need to understand that offering the latest communications technology is more than an IT issue, it’s a recruitment issue.

“According to our research, 85% of UK teens expect to use the very latest technologies at work. Arriving at an office that asks them to learn how to use a fax machine could – quite rightly – make them look elsewhere. The Fax Generation has clearly given way to App Generation. Now all businesses and IT departments need to do is catch up.”