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The New Digital Workplace Divide: Nearly Half of Kiwis Whose Employer Provides Outdated Technology are Frustrated with Employers, are 450 Percent More Likely to Want to Quit

While New Zealand ranks high for technology “technology leader” organisations, “technology laggards” organisations disempower digital workers - putting long-term prosperity “at risk”

AUCKLAND, 27 June 2018 – The key to keeping today’s digital worker productive, positive about their job and around at all? Arm them with the most updated technology possible, according to a new study by Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) that explores the importance of deploying current and future digital capabilities in the workplace in New Zealand and 11 other countries around the world.

The New Digital Workplace Divide: Why a Technology-Enabled Workplace is Critical to Business Success surveyed 1,000 adults in New Zealand (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 New Zealand results:

  • Technology laggards breed employee frustration and attrition - Workers at technology laggard organisations are almost 500 percent more likely to be frustrated with their employer and 450 percent more likely to want to leave to work elsewhere, as compared to their counterparts at technology leader organisations.
  • Devices are the biggest pain points for workers at technology laggards - Nearly half (49 percent) of Kiwis working for laggard organisations work with outdated devices, three times as many who work for technology leaders. Also, workers at laggard organisations are twice as likely to complain about limited roll-out of technology and connectivity.
  • New Zealand is doing better than most other countries surveyed - Thirty-seven percent of Kiwi workers feel that their organisations are leaders in their use of technology. This is the second highest, after Mexico and level with Brazil, and up five percentage points from the global average of 32 percent.
  • Security needs to be a priority in Kiwi 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 (71 percent) of digital workers in New Zealand admit to using workarounds that bypass security protocols.

“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. A substantial number of businesses are behind the technological curve, putting them and the economy at risk from a talent retention standpoint and bringing down their overall efficiency and productivity,” said Mr Sayers. “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.”

The Future of the Workplace

According to the survey, 35 percent of New Zealand respondents viewed Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the emerging technology with the most potential to transform their workplace environment in the next five years, with 34 percent citing Internet of Things (IoT) as a close second. While a majority of respondents cited familiarity with these terms, only 23 percent and 24 percent, respectively, said they understood AI and IoT well.

Importantly, this lack of understanding plays strongly into what people believe the impact of emerging technology will be on their workplace. Notably, the survey found that 39 percent of workers at leader organisations believe that technology and automation could make their jobs obsolete in five years compared to 28 percent for laggard organisations.

“The fear of the unknown is powerful, and that is what these statistics bear out,” said Mr Sayers. “However, organisations that modernise their technology and business processes in the right way will be best positioned to lead. Coupled with the proper training, automation and intelligence can help empower workers by freeing them from tedious tasks so they can deliver better results. We believe AI will enhance their workers, not replace them.”

Download the full report of New Zealand 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 Follow Unisys on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Allan Botica, Botica Butler Raudon Partners, +64 2140-0500

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.