Debate: Can we curb the always-on culture?

We are an online training company, so we are very aware that people on our courses could be working at any time of the day or night – and they do. But we have tried to make sure they understand that the process of working with a tutor is asynchronous. We don’t attempt to be live 24/7 because it’s impossible and it wouldn’t even benefit people, since tutors need to think about their responses. Of course, the people taking our courses need a response in a reasonable time frame, but that is days,

Lessons in lean from high-productivity companies

While, on a national economic level, Britain struggles with productivity; on an individual organisational level, we are home to some fit-as-a-butcher’s-dog companies that have doing less with more in their blood. So, over the past three months, working with leading company-data provider Jordans, Professional Manager has been unearthing unheralded examples of productivity in action. Using proprietary methodology – drawing on Companies House filings to identify profitable, growing, financially s

CBI lays out plans for £200bn productivity boost

Unlocking higher regional productivity through better-managed businesses could add £208bn to the UK economy over the next decade, according to the latest CBI research. While some areas of the UK have benefitted from an uptick in productivity over recent years, too many cities, towns and regions have been left behind, limiting opportunities for millions across the country. The CBI’s new report, Unlocking Regional Growth, sponsored by solicitors Irwin Mitchell, draws on special access to ONS dat

Why now is the time to work smarter, not harder [new research]

British workers are working harder but not smarter, according to new research from think-tank The Smith Institute. The survey found that 68% of employees say they are working harder than two years ago, but less than half (49%) say they are being more productive in their work. Paul Hackett, director of The Smith Institute, said the survey showed businesses needed to do more to focus on the human element of productivity and engage better with workers. “All the focus on solving the productivity

Investment Association calls for end to quarterly reporting

The Investment Association (IA) is calling for an end to quarterly financial reporting as part of a set of sweeping reforms aimed at boosting productivity among British businesses. Other key recommendations in the report include improved reporting of intangible assets, easier access to funding for small to medium-sized start-ups and a more long-term approach to incentives and investment strategies. Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord O’Neill who delivered the keynote speech at today’s l

How flexible working can abolish the gender pay gap

“Flexible working for all lies at the heart of addressing the gender pay gap.” That’s the key message from a Women and Equalities Committee report investigating the gender pay gap in British businesses. The report found that women in the UK are currently paid an average of 19.2% less than their male counterparts, despite women being ‘better educated and better qualified than ever before’. A lack of flexible working opportunities and a high concentration of women in part-time work was identifie

Want to boost productivity, Chancellor? Hire an apprentice

British productivity is in the doldrums. The gap in productivity between UK Plc and other world economic powers is at its worst level since modern records began, with British output per hour worked 18 percentage points below the average for the six other members of the G7. And with nearly a third (31%) of workers employed in a job that doesn’t match their level of education, the mismatch between workers’ education and current job is at the heart of the problem.

Gender parity could boost global GDP by $28 trillion

Closing the gender pay gap could boost global GDP by $28 trillion over the next 10 years, according to estimates from McKinsey, a 28% increase on current GDP levels. In the UK, the effect of gender parity could improve the country’s GDP by as much as £0.6 trillion. Vivian Hunt, McKinsey & Company managing partner for UK & Ireland, said: “Women make up 50% of the global working-age population but contribute about 37% of the world’s GDP – we estimate that fully bridging the gender gap could prod

How ‘socially unskilled’ managers are denting productivity

New CMI research has revealed that companies are suffering from low productivity as a result of overworked and overstressed staff not performing to the fullest. Managers who said they experience the most stress had the lowest levels of productivity of those surveyed (less than 70%), while managers who were free from stress reported productivity levels of more than 90%. CMI companion Sir Professor Cary Cooper, one of the lead authors of the CMI Quality of Working Life report, said the findings

Want your staff to be more productive? Make them smile

With UK productivity lagging behind its European rivals, Chancellor George Osborne has made solving the puzzle a key part of his economic plans. New research from CMI may provide part of the answer. The 2016 Quality of Working Life report finds that productivity is closely linked to wellbeing at work: the higher your managers’ stress levels, the more unproductive they become. And Britain’s managers are under the cosh. Only 12% of the 1,574 managers surveyed reported being 100% productive (see

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