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| 1 minute read

Are you "tech shaming" your younger colleagues?

Generation Z are widely viewed as being the most technologically literate age group, having been brought up in an information age and exposed to the use of tablets, smartphones and laptops from their early childhood. However, according to this article, many employees in their late teens and early twenties report being embarrassed by their colleagues for not understanding how to use printers, scanners and other desktop computing software when in the office. 

In fact, it has become so prevalent that the tech company HP have coined the phrase "tech shame" to define how overwhelmed young people can feel using common office tools. The article argues that most of the software Gen Z are brought up on exists to be user friendly which is very different from the technology you might find in an office - and that, while Gen Z are generally quick to adapt to new skills, being teased or chastised when they don't know how to use the scanner or other office hardware is humiliating. 

This turns on its head the typical assumption that the older generation are more likely to struggle with technology and employers should note that age discrimination can apply to any age bracket. Repeated or hurtful comments linked to an employee's age, however innocently intended, could amount to harassment and carry the risk of grievances and age discrimination claims. 

Employers should also remember that diversity of experience in the workforce is a strength and that shaming employees of any age for their inability to understand technology is unlikely to cultivate the kind of environment where employees learn and thrive. 

You’ll have someone who remembers the first colour TV, another person who remembers the first answering machines, and a kid who can do their job on a smartphone. It helps us recognize that diversity of these experiences is a strength.


employment, technology