7m UK workers rate themselves unproductive at work
New research reveals that nearly a quarter of UK employees rate themselves as ‘unproductive’ at work, equating to seven million of the nation’s total workforce.
At a time when improving the UK’s labour productivity is high on the agenda, the survey of more than 3,000 UK employees reveals there is an untapped opportunity for employers to help boost workforce productivity.
Perceived productivity slips even further amongst Generation Z employees with 28 per cent of Generation Z employees rating themselves as unproductive.
The research highlights some of the steps businesses can take to increase productivity.
Boosting the digital toolkit
To drive up productivity, UK businesses need to look at how they create a digital workplace. Nearly 2 in 5 employees agree that their ideal place of work would have the most up-to-date technology on the market. Those who do have the right technology to do their job effectively like their job more than those who don’t. Furthermore, more than half say the right technology helps them to be more productive. Currently however more than two fifths of employees say poor technology is stopping them being as productive as they would like to be.
Creating a way of working that best serves the wider business and its customers can enhance employee productivity. A key part of this is where staff are getting their work done. More than half of employees surveyed still work the majority of the time in their employer’s office or building, meaning workspace remains a vital component of how effective employees are able to be. But with 43 per cent of employees working from a customer or project site to some extent, making sure they can work effectively and stay connected to their colleagues and customers from wherever they are will also help increase output.
Surprisingly, for Generation Z workers the most important factor in making them more productive is the team around them – 74 per cent as compared with just 60 per cent of baby-boomers. So alongside having the technology available to collaborate with their colleagues, creating a successful team environment continues to matter to individuals.
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.”