UK productivity is currently measured at 18% behind the average of the other G8 economies. It has been estimated that the effect of just a 1% increase in productivity across UK business would add almost £20 billion to the economy, increasing corporate profits and business wages. An increasing amount of evidence now points to where this lack of productivity arises.
A 2013 study cited office workers being interrupted as often as every three minutes by digital and human distractions which once resolved could then require as long as 23 minutes to get back to the task at hand. The Leesman Index identifies that just one in two employees agree that the workplace is productive with a cost of disengagement in the workplace estimated in a Gallup report at between £52 billion and £70 billion in the UK.
With employee performance being measured at least once a year in the form of appraisals it is interesting that the workplace, the infrastructure used to support the workforce and the second highest cost to businesses after salaries, is usually only appraised when a lease event arises which is typically once every ten years.
Recent years have seen a trend to “fill offices” by increasing office densities, but while this approach can be used to increase efficiencies the impact on the effectiveness of a workplace environment can be significant. The open plan office solution does not necessarily result in increased collaboration or more efficient working and a poor design will often lead to frustrated people and impede effective working. The key for any workplace environment is to offer staff a flexible environment, enabling them to select the most suitable way to work for a particular task or type of work.
Reducing the “productivity gap” will require business leaders to take a strategic approach to considering the workplace environment, enabling their workforce to work more productively. The Leesman research indicates that the highest performing workplaces see greater than 70% of employees agreeing that their office enables them to work productively.
If you are looking to increase your business performance and profits can you afford to wait until your next lease event before considering your workplace performance?