What’s really affecting employee productivity?

Bored at WorkAt the beginning of last year, government figures revealed that the UK’s productivity gap has widened to its worst levels since records began in the early 90s. It was found that output per hour was 18 percentage points below the average compared to other leading western economies.

Furthermore, at the end of last year, the BBC also reported that productivity has pushed above its pre-crisis levels. What exactly is causing such a dip in productivity among UK workers?

Money concerns

Earlier this month, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) warned employers that they have a duty of care to support the financial wellbeing of their staff. The warning came after it has been found that one in four employees are suffering with financial problems so severe, it’s affecting their performance at work.

It’s not just those earning a lower income that are struggling either. According to the research, 20% of those earning between £45,000 and £59,999 said that financial anxiety is affecting their ability to do their job.

Surprisingly, a third of those surveyed said that they didn’t think that receiving a higher wage would be one of the top five solutions to their financial concerns. Instead, the following incentives were cited:

  • Being rewarded in a fair and consistent manner (41%)
  • Being able to save for the future through a pension (26%)
  • Being able to progress in their career (20%)

Not enough time off

Holiday rental company, Optima Villas surveyed 10,000 Brits in a bid to find out if they’re happy with their holiday allowance at work. The results were published at the beginning of this year and found that employees would like to see a more flexible approach to working hours.

  • More than a third of people think that a more flexible approach to working hours would boost their productivity levels. This raised to 53% amongst 55-64-year-olds.
  • 29% of Brits say that a few extra days off each year would improve their productivity.
  • A fifth of employees believe that time away from the office would enhance productivity and that longer breaks throughout the day would help them to stay focussed.

Development concerns 

The survey conducted by Optima Villas also found that UK staff have serious concerns about their development within the company they’re working for.

  • 26% of British workers would like to see more efficient operating systems in the workplace and blame poor technology for their productivity shortage.
  • A fifth of respondents said that better training opportunities could be key to increasing their motivation.
  • Just over a tenth of people would like more work to do.
  • 13% say that extra responsibility would make them more focused on their role.

Company culture

Our colleagues and managers have a huge impact on our happiness at work and this has been further highlighted in recent findings. When asked what would make them more productive at work, respondents cited improved management attitudes and colleague relationships.

Do you have difficulties keeping your employees productive? Feel free to share how you overcome this in the comments below.

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