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Collaboration can add $46 billion to the Australian economy: Report

Friday, 18 July 2014 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Improved workforce collaboration could add $46 billion to Australia’s national economy, according to a new report from Deloitte commissioned by Google Australia.


The report is based on a survey of 1000 Australian employees and managers conducted in June 2014 by Stancombe Research and Planning, comparing collaborative work to individual work.


It links increased collaboration with a 24.4% boost in productivity, equating to 54 minutes of work per week, along with a 29.2% improvement in quality, saving 64 minutes per week.


Assuming an average wage of $57,400 per annum and a workforce of 11.6 million, this equates to a $22.6 billion boost to productivity and a $29.2 billion boost from improved quality.


Even allowing for 16 minutes per week of wasted time (including wasted time and distraction) at a cost of $5.4 billion, the potential economic boost is $46 billion.


Not surprisingly, given the funding of the report, 69% of respondents identified shared electronic resources as the most important tool for workplace collaboration.


Other major factors include common areas for socialising (66%), meeting rooms (49%), open plan offices (46%), collaboration software (43%), video conferencing (43%) and social media (36%).


For businesses that collaborate effectively, 45.8% identify workplace culture as a key motivating factor, 38.5% cite team members as being instrumental, with available technology (28.1%), customers (22%) workplace layout (20.4%) and the economy (19%) all factors.


The report also asked companies whether they saw themselves growing faster, at the same pace, or slower than their competition.


Of those claiming to be growing faster than their competition, 52.25% identified collaboration as being a critical component of their corporate strategy. This compares to 36.49% of those growing at the same pace as their competitors, and 19.67% of those growing slower. 


Google Enterprise Australia and New Zealand managing director Kevin Ackhurst told Private Media notes collaboration is a strong point of the startup community.


"Big companies can learn a lot from start-ups. Start-ups are built on ideas and energy, and collaboration allows that to flow around the whole company," Ackhurst says.


"Start-ups are about the art of the possible. And collaboration makes more things possible.


"Australia has a fantastic and energetic start-up community, and I have seen great examples of collaboration both within start-ups, and among them."