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69 per cent of UK office workers feel pressure to be more productive

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Over two-thirds of UK office workers feel pressure from their employer to be more productive, according to new research.

The survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne and PageGroup, found that 62 per cent of women felt pressure to be more productive, compared to 76 per cent of men.

The research, also highlighted that 78 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed, thought their day could be more productive. 86 per cent said they worked out of their contracted hours, with 39 per cent doing it regularly. In this regard, 40 per cent felt that they were the most productive outside of the traditional nine-to-five. Only 25 per cent of those surveyed had been offered any training to improve their productivity.

The survey comes as the Office of National Statistics revealed that UK labour productivity had fallen by 1.2 per cent. This is putting businesses under increasing pressure to boost workforce performance.

According to PageGroup, the data suggests that the UK is heading for a ‘productivity pressure cooker’, in which the economic landscape pressurises employers, who in turn pressurise their staff to boost business efficiency. This would ultimately lead to unproductive productivity habits, such as out-of-office working or long and anti-social hours.

Oliver Watson, Executive Board Director for UK & North America, PageGroup, said, “The results highlight the need for businesses to provide a clearer definition of productivity in order to help employees achieve it. The majority of respondents cited unsubstantial or no training at all. As businesses, we constantly drive our employees to be more productive, but many are not currently demonstrating how to get there or what the final destination looks like. The result is potentially endless cycles of unproductivity with no clear goals or objectives.”

Continuing Watson said, “While a focus on productivity is understandable, employers should consider how much they prioritise productivity over other areas, like innovation. The majority (65 per cent) of office workers feel that innovation falls lower on a business’s agenda than productivity, which should be of particular concern for businesses whose success depends on innovation and forward thinking.”

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