Are schools failing to prepare children for the modern workplace?

Categories: Education
Tags: Education

Recent findings by UC Expo, shows that schools aren’t doing enough to prepare children for modern collaborative working.

Research from UC Expo, the largest Unified Communications and Collaboration event in Europe shows 56 percent of Brits see the education system as “a major blockade” in enabling collaboration in the workplace.

Just over half (51 percent) of those questioned either never collaborated or collaborated infrequently in school, and 37 percent say that collaboration wasn’t an important focus of their education.

The research quotes one teacher as saying: “The emphasis is on learning facts and passing exams rather than allowing for development of skills such as group work or team work which help with other skills…I do try to include more group and team work as it makes a more resilient and independent worker, but the kids prefer to be told.”

This is despite 70 percent of the UK workforce saying they recognise the importance of collaboration in a work environment, and when organisations are also investing in enabling smarter collaboration among employees.

Collaboration has obvious benefits – improvements in productivity, greater operational efficiencies and better work-flow between employees, partners and customers.

In fact, one 2017 survey found that companies that promoted collaborative working were five times as likely to be “high performing”.

Another Stanford study from a few years ago found that just the perception of working collectively on a task can boosted productivity. Participants in the research who were primed to act collaboratively stuck at their task 64 percent longer than their solo co-workers, while also reporting “higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels and a higher success rate.”

The popularity of cloud-based tools and platforms have helped reinforce the benefits of collaboration for businesses. Many organisations from all industries are turning to technology to eliminate physical barriers and enhance business growth.

With different business communication tools and services ranging from email to project collaboration to storage, including Outlook, Office 365, Teams, Yammer, SharePoint, Skype and OneDrive, Microsoft allows businesses of all sizes to connect and communicate to increase productivity.

However, the good news is that younger generations in the workplace are more likely to have had a collaborative education than older generations, with 71 percent of 18-24 year olds collaborating often in school, compared with just 24 percent of 55-64 year olds.

“Collaboration skills are regularly noted as vital on job adverts, and as a key contributor to an organisation’s productivity and creativity. Without collaboration some of the most innovative technology of our time simply wouldn’t exist and society wouldn’t be driving forwards in the way it is,” comments Bradley Maule-ffinch, EMEA portfolio director for UC Expo.

Maule-ffinch says future workforces will thrive if they can “work together with those in education to emphasise the collaboration skills individuals need when they enter the workplace”.

Ian Hill, who heads up the Vuzion Education team adds “We are speaking to an increasing number of Education Partners about the benefits cloud can bring to fuel collaboration in the classroom.

This collaboration is happening not only between students, but also between schools to share learnings across towns, cities, countries and continents opening a wealth of opportunities that can only be beneficial for the future generation.”

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