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How productive are you?

By Stuart Danks
19 August, 2019

How productive are you?

Productivity in the UK fell again in the second quarter of 2019. According to a report by a team at the University of Salford, unproductiveness caused by illness, injuries, distractions, and procrastinations costs the British economy around £1.8 trillion annually!

Last year a New Zealand based firm trialled a four-day working week to see if they could transform their team’s productivity.  Workers were asked to fit five days’ work into just four. The advantage was they would work one less day but still be paid for working five days.

The experiment has been deemed a success, with the workers becoming more productive and successfully achieving five-day’s work in just four days.  Staff wellbeing and engagement improved during the trial - stress levels decreased by 7% and life satisfaction increased by 5%. The result seemed win win. The work got done more efficiently and the employees were happier overall.

Unfortunately, it’s just not possible to work like that in all industries, especially in the running of big manufacturing operations, and it is certainly not possible for teachers, GPs and the postman!

The New Economics Foundation has released a report calling for more public holidays and an increase in workers’ wages in order to boost the productivity of the British economy. The reasoning is that with more spending power comes a bigger demand for products and services, and forces UK firms to increase productivity.

How are you motivated to be more productive?

If you’re struggling to stay focussed on the task in hand, read on for some tips on how to keep on track.

Be Positive

Just as being in a bad mood often makes us unproductive, research shows happiness increases productivity, so it is time to get in a happy, positive mind-set. Rather than procrastinating further by Googling funny work memes, focus on being optimistic about what you are doing.

Keep a record of the work you are completing in a workspace you share with colleagues so your successes can be celebrated. This could relate to a task of any size, including bringing in new business, finishing a big piece of work, or finally getting a big invoice paid.

If you are an employer, give your employees positive reinforcements. It doesn’t cost anything, but you will reap the rewards in your team’s productivity levels.


Inspire yourself with a treat if you complete a task. It can be an edible treat from the corner shop or something bigger depending on the size of the task. Be strict with yourself and enjoy the sweet taste of success.

You can do the same in a negative context. Work out a penalty or forfeit if you don’t get it done – washing up duty in the office or buying the rest of the team lunch.


If you are working independently in your team it might be time to start shaking up how you work. A daily or weekly meeting about what you each need to achieve, and a meeting at the end of that time frame to say whether or not you achieved it.

Knowing that you have to tell everyone what has been achieved might give you that extra push to stay focused.

If you need to recruit more people to your workforce, call us today on 01743 296 320.

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