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“Tech Shame” Affects the Younger Generation Most


“Your screen is frozen, Carey,” you say calmly.

Carey’s face flashes in and out like they’re at a club with a strobe light. The audio crackles on every third word.  

Everyone else on the call shifts uncomfortably in their chairs, silently pleading for Carey to figure it out.

“We’ll come back to you, Carey,” you say with a knowing smile.

We’ve all been there. Tech problems during video calls create an awkward situation for everyone. What’s surprising is that the greater majority of those feeling ashamed because of these challenges are Gen Z workers. It turns out they’re not all tech-savvy wizards, and they won’t always ask for help.

Introducing: “tech shame.”

At one time, “tech shame” was more closely related to the number of devices one had—too many Bluetooth headphones labelled someone as having “too much”. These days, Gen Zs feel “tech shame” because they don’t always know how to solve tech problems in the office and are sometimes victim of it themselves.

HP recently released a study that found 1 in 5 young office workers feel judged when experiencing tech issues, compared to their more mature peers. They are ten times more likely to feel shame in these scenarios as well. 

This seems to root from a few issues. The main one is that they can’t always afford to get the latest device. They’re likely on entry-level salaries, so they may not have the high-speed connection and crystal-clear audio that some senior employees might enjoy.

It’s worth investigating whether your Gen Z and younger Millennial employees have the right tools to be effective hybrid workers. 

Also, keep in mind that some of them may have begun their careers during the pandemic. The office environment will be new and, as we know, it’s different from the digital work setting.

This is where training comes in.

Showing all employees, not just the young ones, how to efficiently collaborate and use the in-house software can go a long way to building confidence in the whole team.

Open communication is important, so check in with employees regularly to ensure they are getting the support they need. Don’t assume that just because they are in their twenties that they know how your CRM works or the best way to set their webcam.

We can show you tools to streamline the hybrid work environment and help alleviate tech shame. Get in touch if you need a hand.