DIGITALLY savvy youngsters may cause a headache for British firms in the future, a survey has found.

The majority of 13 to17 year olds will expect significantly different working practices and will have the tech skills to alter them. A survey of  1,100 teenagers found that 86 per cent expected remote and flexible working opportunities, 60 per cent wanted to work for themselves or start a business inthe future and nine in 10 said they expected to choose the technology they usedin the workplace.

Two-thirds also planned to code and create their own work apps when they enter employment. It also found that the number of people codinghad doubled in the last year.The exercise points to a connected generation in control oftheir data security, privacy and digital rights and preparing for the Internetof Things.

The findings, published yesterday in the seventh Realtime Generationreport by Logicalis UK, entitled “Has The Generation of Things Arrived?” pose some big questions for UK government and big companies. The survey reveals the daily life of the average UK teenincludes five devices and six hours engaged in digital activity, while theyexpect 3D printing (80 per cent), self-health monitoring (69 per cent ),delivery drones (42 per cent ), and holographic tech (43 per cent ) to be ineveryday use by 2024.A more digital world does not mean more risk for them; 74 per cent say adults underestimate their online resilience, and as futureemployees, consumers and voters they demonstrate a demand for change.As students they want more technology in lessons (75 per cent ) and improvements to the IT curriculum (34 per cent ), as consumers theydistrust social media platforms (62 per cent ) and want organisations to workhard for their personal data (72 per cent ), and as employees they saybusinesses will have to update IT and flexible working practices (79 per cent ).

Chris Gabriel, co-author of the report at Logicalis UK,comments: “The statistics show Realtimers understand the value of their digitalskills and plan to use them. Two thirds say they’ll build the technology theywant for work themselves. Forget how Millennials introduced BYOD into theworkplace, can enterprises harness a workforce that will create and dictatetheir own working environments?“The report also questions whether service organisations canmatch this generation’s consumer mind-set on security, data protection andprivacy. It seems both the public and private sector will need to step-uptransparency, personalisation and big data strategies, and make service rewardoutweigh security risk if they’re to convince these consumers to part withtheir personal information.”