Survey reveals the UK’s confidence in using a range of computer tools

IT’S essential for office workers to be competent in using a variety of computer tools to help them research, analyze and solve complex problems. Additionally, being able to use a range of computer tools can also facilitate communication within companies.

Acuity Training, therefore, carried out a survey questioning 1,000 UK office workers on their confidence in using Microsoft Office tools. This is to ascertain whether there is a skills gap in accordance with age, gender, and region.

The survey discovered that only 12% of those office workers questioned receive regular Microsoft Office training in their current workplace and a whopping 49% have never received training to date.

UK office workers clearly believe in the benefits of learning Microsoft Office with 72% answering that they agree they would benefit from receiving more Microsoft Office software training.

Acuity Training also wanted to test the questioned office workers. They asked them what those questioned think the correct formula for the AVERAGE function in Microsoft Excel is. Interestingly, 31% admitted they have no idea. Furthermore, 12% got it wrong, suggesting the formula in an incorrect format. And finally, 57% did know the correct answer. 

The survey also revealed that there are differences in levels of confidence in using Microsoft tools when it comes to age. The youngest age groups (those between 18 and 34), were much more likely to be confident in using the majority of the Microsoft tools compared to the older age groups (over 65’s).

For instance, 18 to 24-year-olds were most likely out of all the age demographics to answer that they feel very confident using Microsoft Power Automate at 4%. However, the over 65’s were most likely to respond that they felt very unconfident at 57%.

On a more positive note, however, for the oldest age group, they answered they are more confident than younger age groups using Microsoft tools that require the use of data such as Excel. For example, the over 65’s age bracket were most likely to answer that they feel very confident using Excel at 21%.

The data clearly shows that men feel much more confident than women in using the majority of Microsoft tools. There is a significant percentage difference for men and women in their confidence using Microsoft Access; 30% of women feel very unconfident in comparison to just 18% of men.

The UK city that appears to have the most office workers feeling very confident in using a range of Microsoft tools was Gloucester. 

Acuity Training’s Director Ben Richardson said: ‘’I found it surprising that despite Microsoft being the most widely-used business software in the world, there are still many office workers in the UK that don’t feel confident using some of the tools.

“It was eye-opening to discover the difference that gender in particular plays in office workers’ confidence using Microsoft software.

“It was our hope that this research would help individuals and businesses alike understand the gaps in Microsoft knowledge according to demographics such as gender and age and that it will inspire organisations to tackle this problem’’.

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