Technology in the workplace: More important than managers?

One in five office-based staff wouldn't know what to do at work if they didn't have access to IT

One in four UK office workers believe that IT is the most useful thing in the office, according to a report out today.

Technology is even considered more important than managers (named by 19 percent of respondents to the Fujitsu Services survey) and training programmes (12 percent).

Moreover, one in five office-based staff wouldn't know what to do at work if they didn't have access to IT.

Even technophobes realise the importance of technology, with one in five saying that although they would love to work without IT, they know they can't.

However, the dependency on technology in the workplace has its downsides. A third of workers admit to using IT as an excuse for poor performance, 38 percent would refuse to work as hard if their IT systems crashed and 15 per cent would leave the office early.

Dr Mark Brosnan, lecturer in Psychology at the University of Bath and author of "Technophobia: The psychological impact of IT", said: "Office workers feel that IT makes work easier to such an extent that they could not work without it. However, many of those less familiar with IT list the system crashing and losing their work as one of the major factors preventing them using IT. It is obviously advantageous for all that the spectre of unreliability, whether real or perceived, is removed from people's perceptions of IT."

Less than a quarter of the survey respondents believe IT is either unreliable or too complex. Three quarters do dislike its occasional slowness and 48 percent expressed concern that it is too easy to misinterpret tone over emails.

Dr Brosnan added: "The potential for misinterpreting tone in emails is a cause for concern, particularly when email is the only mode of communication we have with some clients and customers. In the absence of any other information, a short email may be interpreted as curt and rude. We all need to be aware of the impact that the style of our emails may have on the recipients."

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