Monday 21 September 2015 11:00 am

UK skills gap: Our lack of "interpersonal skills" such as empathy is turning us into robots

By now we all know that our jobs could be taken by robots – but a new report claims that we are already acting like automatons, and it's hurting our business life. 

A study of 1,000 people found that while "almost 100 per cent" had technical and computer skills, very few were able to pass tests for "soft" skills such as good verbal communication, effective listening and empathy. 

In fact, the research carried out by call handling service All Day PA suggested that 80 per cent of people do not have "the necessary interpersonal skills". 

Chief executive Reuben Singh said: “We have been in business for more than 16 years and in that time, people are getting better at typing, technical skills and reading information, but softer skills have gone into sharp decline.
“We are seeing the first generation that has grown up with automation entering the workplace.  They shop online, talk to friends through social media and even play online games in their leisure time – and crucially, as a result, have less experience of verbal communication, and are instead becoming overly reliant on digital communications.
"This generation isn’t exposed to enough positive examples of good customer service either face-to-face or over the telephone.”