Tea break’s over – now get back to work
So, how do we tackle such a thorny, legacy problem? Predictably, given there is little consensus on the causes, there is similarly, little common ground on potential solutions. Does that mean increasing productivity is a lost cause? Probably not, given Martin Wolf’s conclusion that we are so far behind, we have huge potential for improvement.
However, knowing what the problem is and identifying solutions or even first steps towards them are two very different things. Being pessimistic & giving up won’t fix the problem but some cautious realism may light our path a little.
Recent discussion and writing tends to concentrate on two possibilities:
- Investment in technology and
- Adapting or improving our workplaces
As outlined above, it is unlikely that investment in technology by itself will create the degree of impact that we need for breakthrough in productivity. However, changes in the way that we buy and use technology at work is leading to improved outputs and lower costs, with the move to agile working and the increased use of flexible, digital platforms as opposed to more traditional, fixed workstations.
The trend for more open, flexible workspaces is already driving those changes in technology as well as creating more dynamic and creative environments to work in.