Tackling the Office Productivity Gap

Around seven million workers in the UK perceive themselves as ‘unproductive’, according to a nationwide survey.

With businesses looking for ways to get ahead of their competition in a difficult economic climate, productivity is a key talking point. But according to research conducted for Vodafone, many could still be getting much more from employees.

Huge opportunity

Nearly 25% of people rated themselves as unproductive, with factors such as poor processes, excessive meetings, stress and the working environment to blame.

Tony Bailey, head of regional business at Vodafone UK, said people are looking for support from employers to help them do their best work.

“While a third of employees believe they are ‘very productive’, there is a huge opportunity for employers to look at what changes they can make to unlock the potential of the significant proportion of the workforce who don’t think they are working as well as they could be,” he said.

The survey identified technology and teamwork as keys to how employees view their own productivity. When staff can collaborate effectively they feel more engaged, responsive and productive.

Engagement and fulfilment

Lack of employee engagement is a problem that extends beyond the UK, as a global survey by Siegel+Gale found 30% of employees find their workplaces difficult to navigate.

The brand strategy firm pointed to ‘simple’ organisations, where values, purpose and business goals are clearly communicated from the top. In those companies, employees feel more productive and fulfilled, and 95% are more likely to trust leadership.

An emphasis on staff engagement and fulfilment also helps these businesses gain a competitive edge, as 54% of people find it easier to innovate in such an environment.

The impact of different tactics for improving productivity and engagement will vary, as all workplaces, businesses and indeed people are different. But companies that truly prioritise staff development and their working conditions, and find solutions to suit their unique needs, are likely to set themselves apart in any market.

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