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Beyond perks and pay: Deloitte & Google report shows IT a secret weapon in the ‘war for talent’

Employees who are happy with workplace IT are one-third less likely to leave

Sydney, 7 June 2013: New research from Deloitte and Google finds that workplace IT could be the secret weapon to attract and retain staff in the growing ‘war for talent.’ Flexible IT policies, such as allowing staff to bring their own devices to work, to work from home, and to use social media, are key to employee satisfaction. The research reveals that people who are happy with their workplace IT are one-third less likely to leave their company than those who are unhappy.

The findings come from The Connected Workplace — War for talent in the digital economy, a report released today by Deloitte Access Economics and commissioned by Google Australia. According to the report, investing in flexible IT policies could save large companies up to $350,000, and small businesses $22,000, on hiring costs each year. For an average large-sized business, this adds up to a saving of around $2.6m over ten years.  

“Our research shows a direct relationship for the first time between flexible IT policies and employee satisfaction and retention,” said Ric Simes, Partner at Deloitte Access Economics. “Many people report that their home IT is better than that at work. They tend to rate their home technology as more user-friendly, up-to-date and faster. This trend has raised employee expectations of their workplace IT — especially among Gen Y and Gen Z workers.”

Many Australian and New Zealand businesses are recognising this trend and moving their workplace IT to the cloud for increased collaboration. Fairfax Media switched to cloud-based tools from Google in July 2012, and Woolworths announced that they will move their staff to Google Apps for Business in April this year. Woolworths recently set up a ‘bring-your-own-device (BYOD)’ policy so employees could have the flexibility they wanted, while also ensuring security. Similarly Air New Zealand now enables its employees to access information when and where they want from their own secured devices.

Employee satisfaction is about more than perks and pay

The report found that employees are motivated by more than just perks and pay. Businesses with employees that were most satisfied with their IT policies had a few characteristics in common:

  • They allowed people to bring their own devices to work
  • They permitted access to social media while at work
  • They let them work from home
  • They encouraged them to use collaborative technology.

Satisfied employees reported having higher levels of collaboration, collaborating 28% of the working week compared to only 12% for non-satisfied employees.

“These report findings highlight a broader trend which we’ve been seeing for some time now, which is that people want to work the way they live. Australian businesses like Woolworths and Fairfax have recognised this and their staff now work more collaboratively and flexibly with cloud-based tools.

“As the report highlights, making it easy for people to connect, share and work together not only makes employees happier, it makes good business sense too.” says Claire Hatton, Industry Director at Google Australia.

War for talent is predicted to become fiercer

The Connected Workplace report comes at a time when Australian and New Zealand business leaders are experiencing a shortage of skilled employees. “For every 100 people retiring over the next five years, there are less than 125 people exiting education. This is the lowest ratio in Australia’s history and it’s stalling businesses innovation,” Simes explains. “According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2011 20% of businesses reported the inability to find skilled workers within the labour market or within their company as a barrier to innovation.”

Frank Farrall, National Leader of Deloitte Digital added: “The war for talent in the digital economy is not just about technology; it is about combining technology and HR systems to create workplace and cultural change.”

Key findings of the Deloitte “The Connected Workplace” report:

  • 83% of employees with access to flexible IT policies said they’re satisfied at work while only 62% of employees that do not have access to flexible IT said they felt satisfied at work
  • Large companies with 500 employees could save up to $350,000 and small businesses could save $22,000 a year on hiring costs by investing in flexible IT policies
  • Over a ten year period an average large sized business with flexible IT policies could save around $2.6m
  • Superior experiences with technology at home is driving this change and contributing to employee frustrations at work. A significant number of employees surveyed rate their home technology as more user friendly (46%), faster (38%) and more up-to-date (38%) than what they have at work
  • Satisfied employees reported having higher levels of collaboration, collaborating 28% of the working week with colleagues in the same office, country or internationally, compared to only 12% among non-satisfied employees
  • Employees with access to flexible IT policies offset time spent using the internet for personal things at work (1:12 hrs) by using the internet at home for work purposes (1:12 hrs).

About The Connected Workplace report

During November and December 2012, Deloitte conducted an online survey with 526 employees from Australia and New Zealand, as well as consulting with the CIOs or Senior IT Managers of Westpac, Fairfax, Woolworths, Air New Zealand and NSW Trade and Investment.

NB: See our media releases and research at

For further information:

Henning Dorstewitz
Google Australia
0421 898 892
Louise Denver
041488 9857

Interview opportunities about “The Connected Workplace” are available with Ric Simes, Partner, Deloitte Access Economics, Claire Hatton, Industry Director, Google Australia and Frank Farrall, National Leader Deloitte Digital. Furthermore, Damon Rees, Head of Run IT Australia & New Zealand, Woolworths Limited is available for interviews about Woolworths approach to workplace IT.

Last Updated: 


Ric Simes
Deloitte Access Economics
Job Title:
Tel: +61 2 9322 7772
John O'Mahony
Deloitte Access Economics
Job Title:
+61 2 9322 7877 / 0405 143 195
Louise Denver
Job Title:
Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications
Tel: + 61 2 9322 7615, +61 414 889 857




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