It has long been understood that the UK has something of a productivity deficit as compared to many of our European neighbours, and so finding ways to remedy this has become a major priority for business leaders and policy makers alike. Well good news may be on the horizon, as Vodafone recently published their latest research which indicates that there may be an untapped opportunity for employers to help boost workforce productivity throughout the country.

The survey, which incorporated responses from more than 3,000 working adults in the UK, found that 23% of UK employees say they feel ‘unproductive’ at work. This figure rises further still for employees of ‘Generation Z’, amongst whom 28% would class themselves as unproductive with a self-assigned score out of ten between the marks of 0 and 6.

As previously stated this is undeniably as issue; one that must be tackled if the UK economy if to thrive. As for how we go about achieving this, technology emerges as a major contributing factor with 38% of respondents in agreement that an office equipped with the latest and most up-to-date technology available would be their ideal place of work. Additionally, more than half say that access to the appropriate technology at work allows them to be more productive, yet despite this as many as 42% state that poor technology is preventing them from being as productive as they would like.

With 43% of employees working off-site on some occasions this need for effective technology extends beyond the office itself, with communicative technologies of particular importance in this regard. The office does however remain the primary working area of most businesses with 58% of respondents working the majority of their time within company premises, and so this area should be considered a priority.

Proper workplace technology should promote collaboration, and this is true even more so among Generation Z workers with 74% stating that the team around them, and the ability to easily communicate with them, is the most important factor when it comes to their own productivity. Among ‘baby-boomers’ this figure is lower yet still significant, sitting at 60%.

Other factors given the blame for reduced productivity include poor processes in the workplace (51%), too many meetings (47%), and excessive levels of stress (47%).

Tony Bailey, Head of Regional Business at Vodafone UK, commented, “Across the UK people are looking for support from their employers to help them be their best at 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. 

“Examining how and where people need and want to work is the first step to understanding where the introduction of smarter processes and technologies can bring enhancements. Each employee, job, organisation and customer will have different expectations and requirements, meaning there is no one size fits all when it comes to working practices and flexibility. However, this latest research shows that both technology and teamwork are seen as important by employees of all ages when it comes to how they view their own productivity. The communication technologies that are being used by more and more businesses are one way to boost collaboration amongst employees, in and out of the office. This in turn will ultimately create a more engaged, productive, responsive workforce.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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