Britain suffers worst decade of productivity growth since 18th Century

lazy staff

Productivity levels in offices across the UK have fallen to a dramatic low, with a quarter of workers admitting they are unproductive for up to two hours a day, equating to a staggering 40 million hours in lost productivity across the UK every week.

Worryingly, compared to data from 2017 the average office worker has lost an extra 30 minutes each day to productivity issues.

A recent study has found that over a third of office workers felt their employers weren’t doing enough to help their productivity and nearly half even went as far as to say they were more productive than their boss.

The report questioned office workers from legal, education, finance, IT & telecoms and marketing industries across the UK found that a third of UK office workers admitted to only completing 1-4 tasks every day with deadlines being failed to be met at least once a week.

A recent report from the Bank of England found that Britain has endured the worst decade for productivity growth since the 18th Century, whilst the Office of National Statistics have announced that between January 2018 we saw just 0.1 per cent growth in GDP, the slowest recorded since 2012.


Although chatting with colleagues was also the number one distraction in 2017, social media and mobile use has climbed to the top distractions this year.

Bosses across the country have an obligation to help their employees, with a quarter of office workers claiming having less meetings would help them be more productive, as well as 17 per cent saying that taking more breaks would increase output and 16 per cent looking for better management.

Over a third complained they were faced with not having the right office equipment more than once a week, compared with 1 in 5 in 2017. A quarter agreed that better office equipment would make them feel more productive in the office and 95 per cent agreed that good office equipment improves output.

Fellowes UK & Ireland Sales and Marketing Director, who commissioned the research, Darryl Brunt, added: “The makeup of every workforce is different but it‘s clear that employers need to do more to help get the best from their employees. With only 59 per cent of UK office workers saying they are quite productive its key for solutions to be implemented quickly.

To unlock people’s productivity, workers must not only have the right equipment but they must feel valued and supported. By establishing smarter ways of working, employers can build an empowered workforce which best serves its customers.”

As part of its Productivity in the UK 2018 report, Fellowes aims to make workers thrive thanks to over 100 years of experience helping businesses work better. Fellowes believe that the workplace should be the optimal environment for everyone to be the best they can. Our century-long commitment to creating workspace solutions helps workers make an impact every day. We know that with the right tools, everyone has the ability to fully harness their potential.