UK employment is up but worker productivity is down, says ONS

- Leadership - Aug 17, 2017

According to the Official for National Statistics (ONS), UK employment has reached a record high, with 75.1% of 16-64 year olds currently working. However, figures also suggest that worker productivity has fallen.

Companies are being urged to think more about how they can maximise the efficiency of their workers, and consider how this could be achieved with sensible steps designed to unlock potential.

Phil Mottram, Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK, has responded to the ONS research with the following expert comment:

“The employment figures released yesterday, reaching a record high since 1971, is positive sign for the UK. However, this is just one side of the coin as output per worker continued to decline according to ONS’ preliminary figures for the next quarter," he said.


“We’re facing a continuing productivity gap in the UK that is seeing it lag far behind four other G7 countries. Businesses are instrumental in helping ameliorate this by looking inwards at how they run their business and support their workforce, and making changes that can be made to improve efficiencies and profitability.

“Companies have to consider how they can maximise productivity amongst their employees. Ultimately, this is what will drive the economy forward.

“We recently commissioned the LSE to assess the factors influencing business productivity, and its resulting ‘Power of Productivity’ report found that it hinges on three key levers; management practices, use of technology, and workforce flexibility. Collectively, these factors have been shown to increase employee productivity by up to 20%.

“Addressing these three areas can also mean cost savings, improved staff retention and overall business growth.

“From connectivity to communication and collaboration, using technology is the key to evaluating and improving management practices while creating a more effective, and productive, flexible working environment. It’s a challenging time for both small businesses and large corporations alike, and it’s important that productivity is at the top of the agenda to ensure every business, and the UK as a whole, is ready for anything.”

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