Lack of Flexibility is killing UK Productivity

Lack of flexibility is killing UK productivity according to research conducted by Red Letter Days for Business

New research shows:

Working 9 to 5 is a bad idea

Monday morning blues don’t exist, staff are most efficient on a Monday morning

Regular breaks at work are a good thing and have a positive impact on productivity

Staff are more productive when working from home

Employees with more freedom to perform personal tasks at work such as checking social media, will have a better output and are more engaged

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New research shows that highly engaged staff are more likely to be late for work, do personal tasks during working hours such as online shopping and checking social media accounts, and work from home.

According to the What’s killing UK productivity report that launched today, highly engaged staff have regular short breaks during working hours, however when they do sit down to work they are more focused, work longer hours and are more productive than those with low engagement.

In contrast, staff with low engagement appear to be restricted in what they can do: they are far more likely to arrive at work on time, not be allowed to work at home, and don’t perform personal tasks during working hours such as talking to colleagues.

Profile of a highly engaged versus low engaged employee

Highly engaged Low engaged
Get into work late up to 50% of the time every month20%6%
Are never late to work 64%76%
Are allowed to work from home66%38%
Work Overtime68%52%
(of these, this proportion work two hours overtime daily)32%18%
Don’t check their personal social media accounts
(of those who do, these do it at least two hours a day) 34%11%
Chat to colleagues on a personal level for two hours daily 16%4%
Say they do personal tasks at work because they are bored 19%17%
Say taking a break from work to do personal tasks is a good thing48%28%
Do not chat to a colleague on a personal level at work24%29%

The survey, commissioned by incentive and reward experts, Red Letter Days for Business, explored the hygiene factors in the workplace that are contributing to the UK’s productivity woes. According to Office for National Statistics figures, in 2015 UK workforces are 31% less productive than those of the US and 17% less productive than the rest of the G7 countries. This is despite workers in the UK working similar hours to elsewhere.

rld.bill.alexander.image.2015This research indicates that trust and flexibility are key components to create an engaged workforce. “Employees who enjoy more flexibility on timekeeping at work as well as where they work are more engaged, work longer hours and are more productive,” said Bill Alexander, CEO of Red Letter Days for Business. “Highly engaged staff spend more time at work on personal tasks than staff with low engagement levels because they believe a break away from their work every now and then is a good thing. All staff should be given more autonomy and be able to self-govern their job roles.”

What day and time do employees feel most productive?

Weekend (use the weekend to get their work done)10%
Highly engaged staff 31% said Monday is their most productive day31%
Low engaged staff 24% said Friday is their most productive day24%

Most productive time of the day

8.00am to 10.00am37%
10.30am to 11.30am29%
12.00pm to 02.00pm11%
02.00pm to 03.00pm8%
03.00pm to 04.30pm5%
04.30pm to 06.00pm4%

Levels of engagement have little impact on the time when people are most productive, although a marginally higher proportion of people with low engagement (8%) prefer to work after hours compared to those with high engagement (5%).

“Working 9 to 5 is a bad idea,” continues Bill Alexander. “The results show that by not being too rigid about conventional Monday to Friday, nine to five working hours, employers could improve productivity among their workforces.

“Give staff freedom to switch from office tasks to personal time and it will have a motivating impact on a workforce.”

Recommendations for employers to improve employee engagement:
• Allow your staff to work from home.
• Give staff the flexibility to come into work early/late and leave early/late.
• Give internet access and allow the use of social media.
• Don’t chastise employees for doing personal tasks such as booking holidays – a break every now and then will allow them to work longer.
• Give staff a working environment where they can chat to colleagues.

The 2015 What’s killing UK productivity survey also found that just a third (35%) of British employees are highly engaged at work, while 50% were moderately engaged and 15% had no or low engagement.

About Red Letter Days for Business

red_letter_days_for_business_logo.2015Owned by Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis, Red Letter Days for Business are the incentive and reward experts from Red Letter Days.

The team aim to help businesses enrich the lives of their employees and customers, keeping everyone motivated, rewarded and engaged, to ultimately improve the bottom line.

Providing companies with a variety of choice and flexibility, the team create bespoke campaigns that are memorable and deliver results. Rewards are delivered through incentive travel, points schemes, team building events, conferences, scratch cards and on-pack promotions. The company can also offer an array of unforgettable prizes for staff and customers that include its popular high street voucher, experiences, gifts and holidays to name a few.

For more information visit the Red Letter Days for Business Website

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