TalentTalent AcquisitionSolving the ‘productivity puzzle’ in the workplace

Solving the 'productivity puzzle' in the workplace

With reports suggesting that productivity has once again worsened we look at what companies can do to tackle this productivity puzzle.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that productivity has once again reduced for this quarter, their studies found that productivity as sunken by 0.2% in comparison to the previous quarter.

These findings have represented a huge ‘productivity puzzle’ left for business professionals to further look to tackle. This has been the second quarter in a row where productivity has decreased and although this has only worsened by a small percentage, it is still a stark warning from businesses to address.

“The answer to how we can be more productive at work does not lie in simply being more connected and stuffing more into the hours available. We have found ourselves racing around from morning ‘til night, working every minute and attempting to squeeze as much as we can out of a day, we simply cannot just “be more productive” said Adrienne Gormley, Vice President of Global Customer Experience & Head of EMEA at Dropbox.

Productivity sinking has been said to have a significant impact on how employees take an approach to work, if business leaders and HR professionals alike struggle to deal with this decreasing productivity then they could eventually struggle with retaining and attracting talent.

Adrienne discussed ways to combat this rather than simply working more hours “In short – we need to be working smarter, not working more. We need to reduce the time spent on doing ‘work about work’ – this is all the mundane and bureaucratic work that we do to manage our actual work – which is stopping us from being our most productive selves. People are an organisations’ greatest asset and the world’s biggest problems are going to take human ingenuity to solve: better teamwork, better collaboration, and better problem-solving – all of which adds up to the need for a culture which gives employees headspace to do their best work.”

With productivity being an issue in the UK, technology could potentially present a huge chance for companies to exploit these advances and use these to boost productivity therefore increasing staff retention and efficiency.

“Whether it’s task management apps or collaboration tools, technology offers a huge opportunity to supercharge productivity. To achieve this, we need to look at what are the drivers for businesses and the people behind them” commented Anne Sheehan, Director of Vodafone Business.

Although technology presents a potential opportunity, there are also many possible implications that come with this as some studies have shown that technological advances could possibly worsen productivity, however if this is managed well then this can add value to working better as Anne goes on to say “Looking closer at what makes people feel productive at work, we can see that enabling smarter working practices through the use of technology can deliver huge value. The key is to connect people, processes and information in a way that unlocks a workforce’s ability to do their best work.”

When looking at specific sectors relating to productivity, non-financial services have proven to be a positive contributor increasing by 4% since 2008. However on the flipside of this financial services and non-manufacturing production sectors were the two sectors to decrease the most in productivity, decreasing in output per hour by -1% respectively.

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