Hong Kong employees are skeptical about technology use in the workplace, according to a survey.
Just one in 10 sees technology as having a major impact on their job, making Hong Kong second to last in Asia in technology adoption.
That compares with 95 percent of workers in India, 92 percent in China, 90 percent in Malaysia, 84 percent in Singapore, 81 percent in Australia, 78 percent in New Zealand and 60 percent in Japan.
The research was conducted by global human services company Randstad Hong Kong.
This is a surprising finding when technology has drastically transformed the way businesses operate in Hong Kong, an advanced international hub with innovative, technology-driven start-up businesses.
In addition, Hong Kong employees are not as driven to upskill in technology as their Asian neighbors, with only eight in 10 employees saying they need more training to keep up with the developments in technology.
The comparable figures are 89 percent for Malaysia and 88 percent each for China and Singapore.
Despite the fact that Hong Kong has one of the highest internet and mobile penetration rates in the world, technology applications here are limited to social use.
It’s surprising that in a highly advanced city that considerably benefits from technology, Hong Kong employees are less keen to embrace it.
While Hongkongers are increasingly spending time online each day for entertainment and networking, they do not seem to have the “technology for business” mindset.
One reason is that Hong Kong employees think the omnipresence of technology in the workplace makes them less connected to their co-workers.
Seven in 10 agree with that reason, the second highest rate in Asia, followed by New Zealand (34 percent), Australia (44 percent), Japan (45 percent), China (52 percent), Malaysia (53 percent) and Singapore (63 percent).
Another possible reason is that implementing technology and training employees require investment, which deters some decision-makers from promoting it.
The traditional “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mindset plays a role in dragging technology adoption at work as well.
It’s important to note that technology undeniably disrupts daily life in many positive ways.
It will to continue to change the way the business world operates – from increasing productivity and enabling data-driven decision-making to connecting business partners from across the globe.
Organizations need to consider tech-enabled efficiencies to remain competitive.
Time for action
The education process takes time.
It is encouraging to see, though, that the government is taking the lead in promoting technology in businesses.
Organizations should actively tap into the resources provided by the newly established Innovation and Technology Bureau, including the HK$500 million Pilot Technology Voucher Program which incentivizes technological adoption for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Ultimately, technology advancements breed from inspirations.
Businesses in Hong Kong should look outwardly and proactively to best practices from overseas.
For example, companies in the US are using technology to find innovative ways to enable lean operations and run businesses efficiently.
Talent management applications such as Workday, SAP-SuccessFactors and Oracle-Taleo are prime examples of how technology revolutionizes the workplace for increased productivity and competitiveness.
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