Gen Z Is Entering The Workplace Unprepared To Handle “Old” Technology
by Trisha Leigh
When you think of kids today, you probably imagine someone who can handle any kind of technology you can throw at them, given that they were practically born with an internet-capable cell phone in their hands.
I mean, kids now can navigate an iPad before they can really talk, right?
While that might be true, the reality is that as more of them are entering the workforce, they’re finding that they’re actually a bit baffled by things like printers, copy machines, and even some older software and operating systems.
Sarah Dexter, an associate professor of education at the University of Virginia, told The Guardian that makes perfect sense.
“There is a myth that kids were born into an information age, and that this all comes intuitively to them. But that is not realistic.
How would they know to scan something if they’ve never been taught how to do it?”
25-year-old Garrett Bemiller admitted to struggling to figuring out the copy machine at work, at least for a bit.
“It kept coming out as a blank page, and took me a couple times to realize that I had to place the paper upside-down in the machine for it to work.”
Similarly, GenZ doesn’t know how to dig through file folders and directories on the computer, and more than that, they don’t understand why you would, given that you can find answers on Google much faster.
HP coined the term “tech shame” to describe how kids entering the workplace are more likely to experience the phenomenon than their older counterparts.
Debbie Irish, head of HP’s human resources in the UK and Ireland, explains why.
“The assumption is that because Gen Z and even millennials spend a considerable amount of time on technology that they are technology savvy. This is a huge misconception.
Sadly, neither watching TikTok videos nor playing Minecraft fulfills the technology brief.”
Experts put it down to how easily accessible and intuitive apps have made navigating new technology – you don’t need an instruction book to figure out TikTok, but a behemoth like a printer is a whole other ball game.
That said, businesses are likely going to be updating their own best practices, and new companies will start with more modern ways of doing things that will play right into Gen Z’s hands.
Which is to say, despite their current struggles, there’s a good chance that in a few years’ time, the kid are once again going to be all right.