UK employees spend just 40 per cent of their working week on the jobs they were hired to do.

Opportunity for productivity.

The latest 2020 State of Work report by work management application platform Workfront®, has highlighted the negative impact of unproductive activities and misapplied technologies.

This is the sixth annual report of its kind and surveyed 3,750 knowledge workers across the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. It found that respondents are only spending 40 per cent of their working week on core job duties. The rest of their time is wasted on excessive emails and unproductive meetings, as well as a lack of standard processes and collaboration. Employees rated time spent on meaningless tasks as the number one factor keeping them from feeling fulfilled at work.

Despite the frustrations, nearly every UK employee (91 per cent) is proud of the work they do, and 75 per cent of workers feel that their job is more than just a pay cheque. This highlights a strong opportunity for UK companies to find new ways to support employees in doing their best work.

The study also indicates that companies need to be more strategic about their technology choices. Although European businesses are spending hundreds of billions of pounds on digital transformation initiatives, these efforts aren’t necessarily helping employees become more productive or engaged. For example, 43 per cent of workers say the number of technology applications and programmes they use at work actually make them less productive, while 56 per cent believe that their stall in productivity is because of the outdated tech they have to negotiate in the workplace.

On the other hand, employees understand the benefits of working with the right technologies. Nearly all (90 per cent) UK workers say they crave modern technologies, and 96 per cent feel it should be as easy to find information at work as it is on Google. Workers expect this trend to grow, as 89 per cent of respondents say next generation employees will expect workplace technology that looks more like Amazon and Instagram.

“The 2020 Workfront State of Work survey shows us that today’s knowledge workers want to do important work that makes a difference for their teams and accomplishes strategic business objectives for their companies,” said Steven ZoBell, chief product and technology officer at Workfront. “This research provides vital insight for enterprise leaders, demonstrating the importance of modern work management as companies work to strategically align and equip their people to accomplish extraordinary goals.”

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