The importance of digital skills in the modern workplace

Living within a digital age welcomes a significant need for digital-savvy calibre, and as working situations shift combined with more companies striving for online presence, the importance of digital skills within the workplace is at the forefront. Technology is rapidly advancing and transforming business practices, which has inevitably had an influence on how people work, and in turn, the skills that job seekers now need to adapt their skills. In fact, a recent article published last year by the Evening Standard stated that there is a ‘digital skills deficit’ and the requirement for these skills within the workplace skills is at growing.

In this article, we take a look at how companies have been adapting to remote working and why they are evolving their business strategies to accommodate technological advancements. We also explore the reasons why job seekers and employees alike should focus more on how they can adapt their digital skills to not only aid their employability in the future but also increase their skillset in current roles.


Increase in remote working and learning

As we all know, many companies worldwide transformed into a working from home structure and some organisations are still adopting this new way of work with no intention of returning. Becoming digital savvy and familiar with many new digital practices was, therefore, essential for most, and it still is!

Many elements of work changed when the world switched to remote working and limited face to face interactions, From communicating online with employees through video calls and real-time messaging software, to using website and social media more to stay connected with customers. Employees now need to remain familiar with digital applications, online sharing platforms and many more electronic software to keep up with technological advancements.

Further education also recently welcomed digital learning and the impact of the pandemic has even caused some universities and colleges to transform to a completely digital study structure. Many education institutions are now investing in digital transformation to enhance online learning, allowing materials and resources to be available 24/7 combined with seminars and classes being pre-recorded.

So, if you are thinking about venturing into further education or even taking the next step in your current career, make sure you brush up on those digital skills to boost your skills and knowledge to ensure you are ahead of the game.


Companies are adopting digital practices

Even prior to the global pandemic, adapting to a digital world became a top priority for many businesses from various sectors. Organisations have been required to continually keep up with modern technologies to remain competitive, whether that be introducing new website developments, mobile advancements or advancing certain in-house software’s.

This is because many digital practices welcome numerous advantages for organisations, such as enhanced productivity, improved communication levels and greater efficiency. Another plus for companies using technology in practices is the enhanced security level it offers, preventing the chance of viruses or cyber-attacks. Going digital can also encourage businesses to become increasingly innovative and collaborate in many different ways through new technologies. Companies use these new technologies to their advantage, improving their brand awareness through website advancements and enhancing their businesses exposure through platforms such as social media. This digital customer journey is a top priority for companies, more now than ever.

So whilst companies continually focus on digital transformation and embrace these emerging trends throughout their business models, it emphasises the requirements for the current and future workforce to do the same.

Advance your skillset

The job market has quickly become a heavily competitive environment and unfortunately, this could be the case for some time to come. And just a few years ago in 2018, Lloyds UK Customer Digital Index found that there are over 4 million people in the UK that possess no basic digital skills, further emphasising the scale of the digital skill deficit mentioned previously.

In another recent study carried out by the UK Government, it was discovered that a couple of years ago, over 80% of job vacancies needed candidates with digital skills. It is, therefore, crucial for job seekers to evolve their current expertise and obtain additional skills to boost their digital literacy. Even if your current career ambitions may not involve much digital expertise, there would be no harm in becoming familiar with certain practices or brushing up on fresh knowledge that could benefit your career development in the future.

The great thing about acquiring digital skills is that they are now required in many career paths across a variety of sectors, due to many more industries tapping into digital advancement to support business success. Understanding digital practices, therefore, provide you with invaluable and transferable skills that are advantageous to these many lines of work, allowing versatility in your professional skills and knowledge. 


Could improve your employability

And even though working from home and on the move is second nature to some of us, there is evidently still a significant skills gap. Last year, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries Margot James emphasised the importance of individuals staying on top of the ever-changing digital landscape and even mentioned that organisations are finding it tough to find a workforce with the desired digital skills. Furthermore, according to The Times of Youth, the year ’21 and beyond will see around 90% of jobs requiring applicants to have digital skills.

Applicants acquiring sound digital knowledge and skills could therefore gain a competitive edge when applying to jobs and could even set you apart from your contenders within a heavily competitive climate. These skills could be fundamental to the success of gaining employment whether you are office based or expected to work remotely. Possessing the relevant skills provide you with a deeper understanding of digital practices, allowing you to pick up certain tasks quickly whilst being more efficient in the workplace, among many more benefits.


As digital technology revolutionises not only our personal lives but our work lives too, it's time to use technology to your advantage! Digital transformation is evolving at a swift rate and many more industries are adapting to technological change, emphasising the importance of constantly developing our digital skills. Whether you are currently on the lookout for your next role or pondering a career move, now is the perfect time to invest in your digital knowledge and focus on mastering a few new skills to spruce up your CV whilst contributing to personal and professional development.

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