Placing a value on unproductive workdays

Unproductive workdays cost British businesses around £250 million every year, according to new research from Samsung UK.


The new Ahead of the Curve Report, on behalf of Samsung and done in partnership with the University of Leeds, revealed emails, loud talking and gossiping were the major distractions.


It discovered that the average worker is unproductive for 70 days of the year, with those surveyed revealing they felt as though they achieved something for an average of 3.6 days every week.


Loud talkers and the phone ringing were identified as the two major issues, damaging productivity in 57% and 39% of cases respectively.


Unnecessary meetings were deemed to be distractive by 26% of those questioned while emails disrupted the day for 22%.


In the case of the latter, a quarter of staff said it disrupts them every 22 minutes to check, while 38% said they could not go 15 minutes without looking at their inbox.


Other disruptions, including making tea rounds, gossiping and loud typing were also listed as major distractions which could disrupt productivity.


While some of these distractions perhaps cannot be helped, losing £250 million represents a significant level of loss.


Smaller firms are more likely to be impacted and it highlights the need to have the right mix of technology in the workplace.


Mobile working may also enhance productivity levels for some workplaces but alternative locations to the office may have just as many (or even more) distractions.


From a business point of view it is essential to ensure that the firm is managed properly, increasing the likelihood that good levels of productivity can be maintained.


It also helps to keep employees engaged with their roles, especially given that growing levels of technology which present more distractions in the workplace.


Tackling the financial implications of these distractions is important and streamlining a business through business rescue methods could help those in or facing difficulty.


Productivity in the workplace forms the building blocks of long-term success, but it appears many firms could be losing out.


Placing greater emphasis on productivity should help firms to manage staff and distractions more effectively, reducing the threat of financial loss.


By Phil Smith


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