Is it time to put the human at the heart of connected workplaces?

Written by Vodafone on 10 September 2019 in Sponsored Article
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Workplace productivity is being negatively affected by a world that has undergone massive technological advancements to become always 'switched on', research by Vodafone explains

Over the past two decades, technology has woven an intricate web into our lives, altering our existence in ways we would never have dreamed possible 20 years ago. At first this ability to be constantly connected was a novel and exciting one. We binged on data, revelled excitedly in apps and connected with long lost friends around the globe. 

Over time, we have begun to meet some unexpected challenges, and as technology expands our world it simultaneously makes it smaller, with users become confined to the dimensions of the screen in front of them.

In truth this level of technology was new to us all, and no one was taught how to handle this fascinating new world. As our understanding of the reality of life with a computer in our pocket, social media, apps and instant global communication matures, there is now a personal and business productivity challenge to be worked through. As we grow with technology and it continues to advance we must now consider how we live and work in a world that is ‘always on’.

'The most recent Labour Force Survey revealed that organisations lost 12.5 million days from their employees due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety' 

Although technology allows us to move faster and exchange ideas quicker, many people are experiencing information overload and decision fatigue, finding themselves being less productive as they lose hours each week aimlessly scrolling through screens. According to our research “Working in the UK”, 23% of respondents viewed themselves as unproductive, this nets out at around 7 million workers and £194.8 billion worth of lost revenue. 

According to the Health and Safety Executive, in 2015/2016, the overall cost of work-related illness and injuries was £14.9 billion. Most of this (£8.6m) was borne by the individual, but it also cost employers £2.9 billion and Government of £3.4 billion. Meanwhile, the most recent Labour Force Survey (2016/17) revealed that organisations lost 12.5 million days from their employees due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. 

Furthermore, these conditions were shown to be most prevalent in public service industries, including education, human health and social care work activities, and public administration and defence.

This means that it’s more important to address these problems in the public sector than any other and find ways to solve them for the benefit of both people and government organisations, most of which perform functions critical to society as a whole. 

This was an extract from Vodafone’s report ‘Closing the Global Productivity Gap’, which is available to read in full here.

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