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Nearly three quarters (72%) of workers in the UK are unhappy with the state of technology in the workplace, according to a major study by communications company Fuze.

The study of more than 5,000 workers and 2,500 15-18 year olds found that there is a growing disconnect between the expectations of young people and the realities they will actually face at work. Today’s workers consider desk phones, printers, pens and paper as essential workplace items, yet teenagers think very differently.

Teenagers are 25% more likely to consider a smartphone an essential item, and 75% say the latest technology is important to work.

The research also highlights dissatisfaction among current workers, with 51% saying the technology they use at work is inadequate for working effectively. This leads to significant ‘shadow IT,’ as 39% use their own mobile phones for work and many work with software outside of IT’s control, including messaging apps (32%) and video calling (25%).

The research findings also link closely to the rise in working from home and suggest the trend will continue, with 89% of office workers seeing benefits in being able to work somewhere other than the office and 65% agreeing they could work effectively from home, if they had the right technology.

Luca Lazzaron, senior vice president of international operations at Fuze, said: “The app generation has grown up with mobile as the default. They are used to doing everything on their smartphone, especially communicating, and the current business technology set-up isn’t anywhere near ready for that.

“Businesses today have traditional ideas of where and what work is, and the technology that matches those traditional ideas – landline phones, desktop computers, even fax machines. Young people won’t know where to start with these outdated technologies. Their mobile-first, flexible, ‘app for everything’ approach marks a much better way of working and our research shows it’s not just young people who feel workplace technology simply isn’t up to scratch. That’s why businesses need to take action now, not just to safeguard themselves for the future, but to provide the tools their employees need today, to be able to work most effectively.”