2 Feb 2021

B2B Tech Tuesday: Longer-term tech solutions for the new WFH lifestyle

B2B Tech Tuesday is our regular check-in here at Spreckley, where we share all the most interesting and useful B2B and enterprise technology news, innovations and trends.

This week, new research from Microsoft reveals a wave of career-switching amongst workers aged over 45 in the UK, encouraging tech companies to value life skills and worldly experience instead of focusing too heavily on technical skills and knowledge.

Also, we look at the latest tech news on work from home (WFH) collaboration technologies such as Workplace from Facebook and new VR and AR tools that could work in the longer-term, post-pandemic, for many workers in the future. Plus, it looks like Apple and Facebook could soon be heading to the courts in a battle over Apple’s forthcoming ‘App Tracking Transparency’ privacy tool.


Career switching amongst over-45s in UK

Computer Weekly reports this week that, according to new research from Microsoft, over four in ten (44%) over-45s in the UK are considering switching careers, post-pandemic.

“IT job applications tend to look for skills in particular technologies, but for some tech roles, life skills and worldly experience are equally important,” reads the report.

“According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK unemployment rate in the three months to November 2020 was estimated at 5%. The data shows that 828,000 jobs have been lost since the pandemic began, with almost half of those workers aged over 45. Meanwhile, research from Microsoft shows a wave of career switching among workers aged over 45 in the UK.”

The report adds: “Nearly one-third (32%) are driven to switch by fears around financial stability and more than a quarter (26%) are concerned about the rising state pension age. Nearly three-quarters (73%) are willing to invest significant time in learning new skills.

“Microsoft has partnered with Rest Less, a digital community platform supporting over-50s, to highlight the free resources available to help with career switches and also to highlight the opportunities available in the tech industry for people looking to change career.”


Long-term WFH: latest AR, VR and Facebook tools

Elsewhere on Computer Weekly this week, editor Cliff Saran looks at three of the latest tech innovations and approaches to longer-term working from home (WFH).

“Businesses have accepted that the workplace will never be the same again,” reads the report.In November 2020, McKinsey assessed the state of remote working and reported that hybrid models of remote work are likely to persist in the wake of the pandemic, mostly for a highly educated, well-paid minority of the workforce.

“The challenge that industry leaders see is: how can employees collaborate effectively and engage with their employer if they are only spending a proportion of their time in the office environment? When they are at home, how do they collaborate with people in the office or front-line staff?”

CW takes an in-depth look at a few of the latest approaches to remote collaboration for home workers, including Workplace from Facebook and some of the latest augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets and tools for frontline workers and others.


Apple and Facebook in privacy spat

Finally this week, IT Pro reports that Apple and Facebook’s latest privacy dispute could well see the two tech giants heading to the courts in the near future.

“Facebook and Apple could be heading into a legal battle over the latter’s proposed App Tracking Transparency (ATT) tool,” reads the report.

“Facebook has been working with external legal counsel to draft an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple, alleging the iPhone maker is abusing its market power with rules that its own app don’t have to follow.

“The ATT tool is reportedly set to launch in the spring and will force app developers to ask for an iPhone user’s consent before their app tracks their activity. The user can decide if it wants to share their data with third-party firms that may use it for personalised advertising.

“Both Google and Facebook have raised concerns that it will heavily impact their revenues. Google has said it is already working with Apple to find an alternative which doesn’t take revenues away from advertisers, however Facebook appears to be preparing to challenge the move entirely. During an investor call on Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg accused Apple of using its dominate platform to “interfere” with how apps work.”