Parents saving $4,000 a year by using children for IT support

Sep 22, 2020 | Marketing transformation, Skills

Parents saving $4,000 a year by using children for IT support
Many parents struggle with various aspects of technology and are turn to their children for help, saving money on IT costs, according to new research.

Interested in computer training and education, Prolifics Testing surveyed 2,664 teenagers (aged 13 – 18) to discover the online tasks they help their parents with most and based on the time spent, how much money they have missed out on by their parents not paying them for the IT help.

Key findings:

  • Parents should be paying £4,214.25 per year to their children for all the IT support they provide them
  • In the past year, teenagers have spent 32 hours helping their parents with social media and should be pocketing £519.04 for their assistance
  • Interestingly, 71% of teenagers admit their parents ask them to solve ‘technical issues’ as opposed to contacting their employer when working from home
  • 67% of teenagers have helped their parents set up a Zoom or Skype meeting
  • 52% have assisted their parents with setting up a Whatsapp group video call and 43% setting up a Whatsapp group chat

Prolifics Testing found that parents turn to their teens for social media advice the most. This includes how to upload images and videos, how to share posts and how to use hashtags on popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. On average, they have spent 32 hours throughout the last year answering such questions from their parents and if they were to charge their parents for the help, they would have pocketed a hefty £519.04.

Emailing is the next area that teenagers spend a significant amount of time (29 hours) helping their parents. Some of the common emailing queries from parents include how to send bulk emails, how to send and open attachments, how to group contacts, how to schedule emails and how to customise email appearances. In the freelancer job market, they would have earned a handsome £693.68 for such email ‘expertise’.

In third place is video editing. On average, teenagers dedicated 27 hours in the past year explaining the simple video editing process to their parents, the includes how to sync audio and video, how to add background music and how to cut and trim videos. It’s the sort of knowledge that would command them a fee of £651.78 if they were acting as a professional consultant to their parents.

Furthermore, teenagers in the last year have spent 20 hours on average teaching their parents several important principles of computer security, such as how to check for system and security updates, how to download and use antivirus software, how to download and use AdBlock and how to spot and avoid suspicious pop-ups/emails/links. If the teenagers were to bill their parents for their lessons on computer security, they would receive a cool £528.20.
On the other end, parents have approached their children for guidance on how best to sell items on online marketplaces such as eBay and Facebook.

Teenagers have assisted parents with product descriptions, search filters, keyword research and editing product images. These online marketplace services typically incur a charge of £11.77 per hour from a ‘professional freelancer’, so teenagers who have spent an average of 18 hours helping their parents in the past year could have netted £211.86 for their troubles.

Overall, teenagers should on average earn £4,214.25 per year from providing IT support to their parents. A more than substantial upgrade to their standard pocket allowance.

Top tech problems for parents

Given that for most of this year people have had no choice but to communicate with others by phone, instant messaging and video calls, Prolifics Testing also asked teenagers which aspects of these their parents most needed help with.

The results were as follows:

1) Setting up a Zoom/Skype virtual meeting – 67%
2) Generating ‘invite’ link for others to join a Zoom/Skype virtual meeting – 64%
3) Muting audio during a Zoom/Skype virtual meeting – 59%
4) Turning camera on and off during a Zoom/Skype virtual meeting -55%
5) Setting up a Whatsapp group video call – 52%
6) Setting up a conference call on smartphone – 48%
7) Setting up a Whatsapp group chat – 43%
8) Sending a text message to more than one person – 40%

Additionally, 71% of the teenagers admit their parents ask them to solve any ‘technical issues’ they experience as opposed to contacting their employer when working from home.

View the report here

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