7m unproductive UK workers – can technology alone revive the workforce?

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Technology may be a large factor in building productivity among workforces, but is it really the only thing to improve workforce productivity?

Research from Vodafone revealed that almost a quarter of UK employees, equating to a total of 7 million workers, rate themselves as unproductive at work.

Lack of productivity in an organisation has a detrimental impact on the bottom line, with profit suffering while employees are not realising their full potential.

Overall, Vodafone’s survey found there is an untapped market across the UK that could cure the productivity problem plaguing UK businesses – digital technology.

From the 3,000 employees surveyed almost half admitted that poor technology is a huge factor stopping them being as productive as they would like to be.

Furthermore, 38% revealed that in an ideal workplace they would have the most up to date technology available, because with the right technology workers will be able to carry out their roles more effectively.

Darren Roos, President at SAP ERP Cloud, said: “Business leaders must recognise the value that technology can deliver within their organisation.

“They must then take the necessary steps to implement the correct structure and processes to create and foster a more productive workforce which embraces technology at its core. We need to start innovating in areas like AI, machine learning and cloud to create bold new ways of working.”


Seemingly technology is not the only factor involved in making the workforce more productive, suggesting that there are other antidotes to the problem. The survey revealed that generation Z workers (18-23) attribute the most important element to being productive to the team they work with.

Three quarters of generation Z employees value their team to boost productivity, in comparison to 60% of ‘baby-boomers’. Furthermore other factors holding back employee productivity include spending too much time in meetings (47%), businesses processes (51%), and stress (40%).

Tony Bailey, Head of Regional Business at Vodafone UK, said: “It is important that businesses don’t rely on technology alone, because only when it’s coupled with management best practices and flexible and smarter ways of working, can businesses see a lift of as much as 20% in productivity.

“Strong management must seek to review working processes and technology simultaneously, building a structure that fosters a more engaged and productive workforce.”