Despite the fact that London is an attractive business hub and the world’s talent capital accounting for 21.9% of the UK’s economic output, the British Capital is home to some of the least productive workers in the UK. According to a Group Insurance press release, employees in this region achieve only 22 out of 50 in the Canada Life Group Insurance Productivity Index. Among the major findings of the study are:
- One in seven Londoners admit to spending between one and two hours per day on non-work related websites during working hours compared to 11% nationally.
- One in ten workers in London can only concentrate on a task for less than 30 minutes before getting bored or distracted.
Online Distractions is a key Problem
Online distractions are also a huge drain on Londoners’ productivity. Almost two thirds (62%) of workers in London admit that online distractions have negatively affected their concentration, versus 47% nationally. One in seven respondents in London (14%) say online distractions damage their concentration all the time (versus 8% countrywide).
Emails are also counterproductive, with 78% of respondents in London recognising this has had a negative effect on their output at work compared to 64% nationally. Consequently, a quarter of workers in London are unsatisfied with the amount of work they achieve each day and 4% admit they hardly get anything done and wish they were more motivated.
Workplace Stress and Personal Problems Hinder Productivity
Another important obstacle to productivity in London is workplace stress. Three quarters (75%) of workers in London argue that stress caused directly by their job has prevented them from being able to concentrate. Only 22% say that this has never been a problem, compared to 27% nationally.
What’s more, at least 61% of Londoners find that their productivity is negatively affected by personal problems at least some of the time, with 4% admitting it is a constant problem.
Considering Possible Solutions to Boost Productivity at Work
London workers were asked to point at possible solutions that could improve their productivity at work. Almost two thirds (65%) of London workers pointed out a higher salary as a solution to enhancing their productivity at work, even though a salary rise may not always sort out problems associated with personal issues and stress.
Other solutions for Londoners were more aligned to enhancing workplace stress. Employees in London are more likely than the rest of the country to say there would be a positive effect on productivity if they were offered flexible working hours, with almost half (47%) agreeing with this compared to a 36% UK average.
Working from home also ranks highly in the list of aids to Londoners’ productivity (33% compared to 28% nationally), suggesting longer commuting times may take their toll. One in seven (14%) workers in London say better benefit provision would make them more productive in the workplace.
Overall, even though London is often deemed as the main hub for business and economic activity in the UK, the results of the index suggest employees in London are severely affected by workplace stress that acts as a counterproductive agent.
Seeking for potential solutions, London workers strongly believe that flexible working conditions as well as allowing staff to work from home when appropriate could be beneficial in reducing counterproductive stress.