Having flexible workplace IT policies such as bring your own device (BYOD) and teleworking is an effective way to retain and recruit talented staff, according to a report by professional services firm Deloitte, commissioned by Google.
In its The Connected Workplace report, Deloitte surveyed 526 skilled workers; that is, people who work in an office or use IT regularly in their jobs. Around 83 percent of respondents with access to flexible IT policies said they were satisfied with their work, compared with 62 percent of their counterparts who didn't get to enjoy flexible IT conditions.
Workers are increasingly favouring perks over pay. In a study by global recruitment firm, Ambition, it showed that most IT employers don't allow flexible working arrangements. But 56 percent of workers surveyed by Ambition said they favour flexible working conditions over a promotion.
Deloitte believes the skills shortage in Australia is a very real thing, and employers must adopt new tactics to retain and attract workers.
"For every 100 people retiring over the next five years, there are less than 125 people exiting education," Deloitte Access Economics partner, Ric Simes, said. "This is the lowest ratio in Australia's history, and it's stalling innovation."
Having flexible IT policies such as BYOD, remote working, and introducing collaboration technology to allow staff to work effectively are some ways to compete in the "war for talent", according to Deloitte.
Ironically, while Google funded this report, the company itself frowns upon remote working, preferring to keep staff in offices to share and cultivate ideas.
"We believe human, face-to-face interaction is really important," Google Australia industry director Claire Hatton said. "However, we spend a very large proportion of our time doing things like being on Google Hangout across the world, collaborating around documents.
"We believe flexible technology allows collaboration, as well as human interactions."
Another thing about flexible technology is that it gives staff the freedom to work in a way that suits them best, she said.
Having an open approach to workplace IT not only dissuades current employees from flocking elsewhere; it also has the potential to save companies big bucks, as it may reduce the cost of employee turnover, Deloitte claimed.