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The New Digital Workplace Divide: Successful Digital Workplaces Drive Employee Engagement, Productivity and Talent Retention With Positive Impacts on the Bottom Line

Aussies turn to BYOD to be more mobile, but see AI and IoT as key to their future

SYDNEY, 27 June 2018 – The key to keeping digital workers productive and engaged and retaining top talent? Arm them with up-to-date technology, according to a new study by Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) that explores the importance of deploying current and future digital capabilities in the workplace.

The New Digital Workplace Divide: Why a Technology-Enabled Workplace is Critical to Business Success surveyed 1,006 adults in Australia (April 2018) and found a significant “digital divide” between employers based on the technology their employees use in their jobs – “technology leaders” and “technology laggards”. The study examines the human impact of new digital workplace trends.

Key highlights from the Australia results:

  • Technology laggards breed employee frustration and attrition - 65 percent of Australians working for technology laggards feel negative toward their employer – with 53 percent saying the technology they use at work makes them feel frustrated with their employer and 12 percent say that it makes them want to work elsewhere.
  • Devices are the biggest pain point for workers at technology laggard organisations - 53 percent of digital workers in technology laggard organisations complain they are slowed down by outdated devices and poor ease of use, more than three times as many as at technology leader organisations.
  • Australia is falling behind in the APAC region - only 28 percent of Australian digital workers describe their employer as being ahead of their competitors in their use of technology (“leaders”). Whilst broadly in line with global averages, Australia is behind its Asia Pacific counterparts: New Zealand 37 percent and Singapore 35 percent.
  • Security needs to be a priority in Australian organisations - The “Bring Your Own Device” to work environment allows greater access to company information and brings with it potential security risks. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of digital workers in Australia admit to using workarounds that bypass security protocols.

The survey also found that Australian employees are more likely to use a smartphone or tablet for their work than the global average, but the prevalence of desktop PCs is still high (more than two-thirds). Indicating there is a clear appetite for technology that allows them to be more mobile, 41 percent of Australian digital workers use their personal smartphone for work and 45 percent claim they would rather have a new or upgraded laptop PC or tablet.

“The research underscores how the digital workplace encompasses a wide ecosystem of people, culture, technology and processes – it’s not just about how up to date your IT is or whether you can log in from home,” said Mr Leon Sayers, lead advisory consultant for Unisys Asia Pacific. “How you work defines your workplace – and vice-versa. To achieve successful digital transformation employers must take a holistic approach to organisational change.”

The Correlation between Technology, Productivity and the Bottom Line

While business leaders know that unhappy employees cost them money, many would be shocked at how high that cost actually can be. Organisations who invest in employees have 4.2 times the average profit of those who do not.1 And the impact on the bottom line to replace a salaried employee is commonly predicted to be six to nine months’ salary on average2.

“The cost of not engaging employees in the workplace has real consequences. Personal productivity is a key motivator that not only impacts an employee’s ability to do their job efficiently, but also how engaged and committed they are to their employer. Designing and implementing an effective digital workplace requires effective organisational change management and consultation to ensure employees have the right technology to do their jobs, and they are comfortable using it,” said Mr Sayers.

Impact of emerging technologies in the workplace – friend of foe?

Australian digital workers predict the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and biometrics as having the greatest potential to improve the working environment in the next five years. Such enthusiasm is tempered - 42 percent of employees at technology leader organisations believe their job could be done entirely by machines by 2023.

“AI benefits sectors with clear decision protocols such as credit card application assessments. Whereas industries that rely on workers being able to monitor situations in the field, such as social workers or police, will benefit from IoT and biometrics. Employees should not fear these powerful emerging technologies - those organisations who modernise their technology and business processes in the right way will be best positioned to lead. Technology innovation will enhance the workplace, with humans and machines working together to increase productivity,” said Mr Sayers.

Download the full reports of Australia and global results or details on the research methodology here.

Download the New Digital Workplace Divide infographics and other information here.

1 – Harvard Business Review: Why the Millions We Spend on Employee Engagement Buy Us So Little
2 – PeopleKeep: Employee Retention - The Real Cost of Losing An Employee

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that builds high-performance, security-centric solutions for the most demanding businesses and governments on Earth. Unisys offerings include security software and services; digital transformation and workplace services; industry applications and services; and innovative software operating environments for high-intensity enterprise computing. For more information on how Unisys builds better outcomes securely for its clients across the Government, Financial Services and Commercial markets, visit www.unisys.com.au. Follow Unisys on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Contact:

Candi Hindocha, Impact Agency
+61 2 9519 5411 or +61 459 104 978, candi@impactagency.com.au  

Unisys and other Unisys products and services mentioned herein, as well as their respective logos, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Unisys Corporation. Any other brand or product referenced herein is acknowledged to be a trademark or registered trademark of its respective holder.