Productivity problem affecting more than just the UK

A recent study showing that productivity is set to fall in the USA for the first time in three decades confirms that productivity decline is affecting the whole of the developed world, and not just the UK and Europe.

To address this issue, businesses need to look inwards at their own individual practices to work out how to eliminate lingering inefficiencies, finds eg Solutions.

According to US-based think tank the Conference Board, workers in the USA are producing 0.2 per cent less gross domestic product per hour than they were last year.

This reflects recent UK government predictions that productivity will grow by just 1.0 per cent in 2016 and 1.7 per cent in 2017.

While a general decline in innovation could be a key driver of this problem, every company should be assessing its own productivity levels on an individual basis, and constantly searching for ways they can make their own practices more efficient, says Elizabeth Gooch, CEO of eg Solutions.

She adds, ‘These latest findings show that the productivity problem is affecting all businesses in all markets.

A further issue is that most experts seem unsure as to exactly why productivity is declining, and what needs to be done to solve it.’

Gooch says that every business needs to realise that reducing inefficiency and raising productivity can be done on an individual basis, if companies are prepared to invest some time and money into addressing their own problems.

‘At its core, raising productivity is about making work practices more efficient, by increasing worker output without extending the number of hours each employee works.’

Customer-focused companies still rely heavily on back office processes to process key transactions for their customers. eg solutions believes that raising efficiency here can be the key to addressing the productivity problem as a whole.

‘Back office workforce optimisation software is highly effective in helping managers plan workflows, manage staff activity and keep tabs on which employees have capacity to take on extra work,’ Gooch adds.

‘This provides a solution that is straightforward to implement and highly intuitive to use, thereby increasing employee output in both the short and long term.’

Essentially, this contributes towards the growth in productivity that we desperately need, with each business taking this approach having a knock-on effect on overall productivity, she says.

‘What companies need to recognise is that, with a proactive approach to improving workplace efficiency, they can play a major part in addressing the productivity problems in the UK and beyond.

Technology exists that has been designed to serve this very purpose.’

Further reading on productivity

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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