HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

3 out of 10 Hongkongers don't believe in major impact of technology on their jobs

India's employees believe in technology's power.

It has been noted that Hong Kong employees are skeptical of technology use in the workplace, based on Randstad Hong Kong’s Q1 Workmonitor research.

According to a release from Randstad, coming second last in Asia is Hong Kong, where only seven in 10 (71 percent) employees see technology has a major impact on their job.

In contrast, employees in India strongly feel technology’s impact on their work (95 percent), followed by China (92 percent), Malaysia (90 percent), Singapore (84 percent), Australia (81 percent), New Zealand (78 percent) and Japan (60 percent).

This is a surprising finding when technology has drastically transformed the way businesses operate in Hong Kong, an advanced international hub filled with innovative, technology-driven start-up businesses.

Here's more from Randstad:

In addition, Hong Kong employees are not as driven to upskill in technology as their Asian neighbors, with only eight in 10 (83 percent) employees feeling they need more training to keep up with the developments in technology, lagging behind India’s and Malaysia’s 89 percent, China’s 88 percent and Singapore’s 88 percent.

Mr. Michael Smith, Director of Randstad Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, said despite Hong Kong boasts one of the highest Internet and mobile usage rates globally, technology applications seem to be confined for social use.

“It is a surprise that, as a highly advanced city that considerably benefits from technology, Hong Kong employees are less keen to embrace or capitalize on technology at work than their Asian counterparts. While Hongkongers spend increasing hours online a day for purposes such as entertainment and networking, they do not seem to have the ‘technology for business’ concept seeded in their mind, based on the Workmonitor results.”

“One reason is that employees in Hong Kong think the omnipresence of technology in the workplace makes them less connected to their co-workers, with seven in 10 (65 percent) of them agreeing with the statement. This is 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 and training on technology requires investment, which may deter some decision makers from promoting it, while the traditional ‘if it is not broken, don’t fix it’ mind-set may play a role in dragging technology adoption at work as well.”

“With that said, it is important to note that technology undeniably disrupts our life in many positive ways and is set to continue changing the way the business world operates, from increasing productivity, enabling data-driven decision-making to connecting business partners from across the globe. Organizations need to consider tech-enabled efficiencies to remain competitive.”

Mr. Smith said there is still an opportunity for organizations to take proactive action now.

“The education process takes time. It is encouraging to see, though, 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. As Asia’s world city, businesses in Hong Kong should look outwardly and proactively reference best practices from overseas, Mr. Smith said.

“For example, companies in the U.S. 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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