The way businesses are adopting technology is totally spooking staff


Businesses could be facing a major challenge when it comes to adopting new technology: people.

Workers are feeling fear of technology and are worried about its effect on their job, according to new research from Microsoft, and that could put British businesses digital transformations at risk.

Introducing new technology in the workplace is making the majority of people – three in five – feel anxious while the same number have concerns over whether their job is safe when it comes to tasks being automated.

Read more: How making British industry digital could boost the economy by billions

And half of staff express such fears about change when businesses introduce any "digital transformation" projects, the study by Goldsmiths University and YouGov found and more than a quarter of business leaders said they meet "resistance" from employees.

Despite such concerns, fewer than a quarter of businesses were investing in addressing this human side of when it comes to introducing new technology.

“We are seeing a growing divide between those organisations that are geared towards driving the cultural change that supports technology investments, and those that are not," said Microsoft UK's chief operating officer Clare Barclay.

"This is a major concern – evidence suggests that if you don’t address the human elements of change, successful transformation is unlikely to happen. Creating a culture in which technology blends with human potential is where the magic happens."

Read more: The 10 digital jobs employers say will become more important

The report also identified that only 53 per cent of business are investing in digital transformation, despite the same amount saying their industries faced disruption over the next two years.

“Some people are afraid of new technology, don’t want to use it, don’t feel comfortable with it, and want to keep using their old skills as long as possible," said professor of psychology at Stanford University Carol Dweck.

"It’s vital to shift the ethos from fear of being sub-genius in a genius culture, to the idea of a shared struggle where mistakes are inevitable and your team members and company have got your back.”

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