Top tech stats: Micro-chipping at work, female gamers and much more

Top tech stats

This week we bring you the latest insight about the way in which British workers feel about getting chipped by their employers, women’s take on the video game industry, the crisis facing British businesses and tech startup funding in the UK.

Micro-chipping employees

Research by TalkTalk Business has shown that over two thirds (70%) of Britain’s working population would refuse to wear a micro-chip if asked to do so by their employer.

The research comes after US software firm Three Square Market said it would start trialing RFID micro-chips to enable employees to access work amenities.

According to the data, Generation Z and millennials were more vocal about leaving their job, with more than a third saying they would do so if asked to wear an implant.

Despite this, the poll showed that some 10% millennials would be open to taking part in a temporary trial of micro-chipping, having the highest response.

Some 5% of British workers said they would think about wearing a micro-chip if they were paid extra.

Female gamers

British women are set to spend £1.1bn on video games and related accessories in the following year.

That’s according to Barclays Corporate Banking’s ‘UK Video Gamers Trends Survey‘, which stated that the projected figures for female spending represented a third of the total £3.5bn expected to be spent by adults in Britain over the same period.

The survey also found that women were much more inclined to see gaming as a solitary activity compared to their male counterparts.

Sean Duffy, head of technology, media and telecoms at Barclays, said: “The UK’s £4.3bn video games industry is a thriving and vital contributor to our economy.2 While trends in mobile and virtual reality are well publicised, female gamers have been a substantial driver of growth in the industry over recent years, opening up a part of the market that was previously overlooked.

“Our research finds that the majority of female gamers engage through mobile, and the growth of mobile titles has no doubt been central to increased uptake by women. Of all of the platforms we surveyed, mobile is forecast to see the most growth over the next 5 years. There is a big opportunity for developers to expand the female market with mobile games targeting women.

Time spent on gaming by British adults is also on the rise with many gamers planning to invest in their hardware over the coming two years. In fact, the survey found that VR headsets (15%) and consoles (15%) were the most popular areas for investment. These were closely followed by Xbox and PlayStation (12%).

Unsurprisingly, the research suggests that the dominance of mobile phones as a platform for gaming looks set to continue.

Mobile phones are currently the most popular gaming platform (53%), followed by tablets (37%) and consoles (37%), but only 3% of respondents currently stream or play games direct from TV.

A fifth (19%) predict that they will spend more time playing games on mobile phones in future, followed by tablets and consoles (both 15%).

Business creativity crisis

New research by Microsoft Surface suggests that British businesses are at risk of a creativity crisis due to workplace cultures that stifle innovation.

Uninspiring workplaces (41%), a stressful atmosphere (34%) and a lack of appropriate spaces to focus and think alone (28%) were all identified as major inhibitors to creativity.

Additionally, two in five workers surveyed (40%) say that creativity and innovation are neither encouraged nor rewarded within their workplace.

The research also found that whilst almost three quarters of respondents (73%) consider themselves to be creative, demands of the modern workplace need rethinking, with symptoms such as overworking and stress stifling our ability to tackle problems and produce good ideas.

Half of workers (50%) feel least creative when tired, 45 % when stressed, while existing workloads (39%) and organisational processes (32%) were also cited as barriers to employees being more creative

“Any organisation that believes creativity is the privilege of a few senior execs is missing out on huge opportunities for growth,” said Ryan Asdourian, Windows and Surface lead, Microsoft UK.

“Creativity is everywhere if you know where to look but like all skills, it needs to be nurtured and given the right tools. Businesses must do more to provide employees with the right working environment to handle different kinds of tasks, and the flexibility to get out of the office to spark their creativity.

“This research shows a clear lack of investment in innovation and creativity training, which is especially alarming when we consider the potential impact to the UK economy. The services sector is vital to UK GDP and its success has been built on our ability to solve problems in new and innovative ways. If UK businesses are not able to find ways to spark creativity within the workplace, they’re at risk of falling behind.”

Tech startup funding

And finally, Beauhurst’s data suggests that H1 2017 has seen a 32.7% (£1.73bn) increase with regards to investment when compared to the second half of 2016.

This year, the data unveiled, has already seen two of the three biggest-ever deals, into virtual reality firm Improbable and e-commerce site FarFetch.

Despite this, the deal numbers remained stagnant, decreasing  by 1.35%, and representing a 4.8% decline from the same period in 2016.

Later stage companies saw a decline in deal numbers of 19.4% from the previous half.

Crowdfunding platforms facilitated 45 tech deals worth £28.5m.