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Workers 'better with machines than people'

Published: Monday, 28 April 2008   Category: Life after graduation

Many UK workers are more confident dealing with computers than actually communicating with people, according to new research.

A study conducted by Filemaker for their Educated Tea Makers report revealed that 83 per cent of UK workers felt confident about their basic IT skills, while just 75 per cent felt comfortable with face-to-face communication.

The gap was more pronounced in 16 to 18-year-olds, with 82 per cent of respondents claiming confidence in their IT abilities compared with 64 per cent who felt at ease with interpersonal communication.

Cary Cooper CBE, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University, commented: "Once a person has experience of using IT on a regular basis and becomes confident with how it functions, it can be easier and more predictable to deal with than people.

"However, whilst IT can be a very useful medium of communication it is worrying to see that the balance is tipping away from face-to-face discussion."

He pointed out that relying on IT can sometimes lead to "unnecessary conflict and misunderstanding".


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