Friday, 23 July 2021 IMS HomepageHome

Institute of Management Services News

UK Green Spending Plans lowest in EU

Recent research analysed the size, sectoral allocation, and implementation choices of green recovery spending plans in France, Germany, and the UK, which differ markedly. France spends most, both in absolute and GDP-relative terms, followed by Germany.

Total UK spending is 43% less than France. The UK and France mostly support existing sectors (buildings, railways), while Germany focuses 57.8% of its funding on new technologies (electric vehicles, hydrogen).

The research project was led by a team of experts based at the Alliance Manchester Business School: Professor Frank W. Geels, Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability and one of the most cited scholars in the world; Professor Jonatan Pinkse, Professor of Strategy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research; and Guillermo Ivan Pereira, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Sustainable Energy Innovation.



Posted on: 11 Jul 2021@20:49:31, updated on: 11 Jul 2021@20:49:31.


Increase in Productivity

Workers in industries that were able to rapidly pivot to remote working after the onset of the Covid pandemic have driven up productivity levels in the UK, according to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Estimates from the ONS show output per job, excluding furloughed workers, was 9.2% higher on average in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, before Covid struck. 

“This indicates that furloughed workers were more likely to work in lower productivity industries, with higher productivity individuals and industries still working to a greater degree, pushing up aggregate productivity” the ONS said.

Industries that were able to assimilate remote working into their operations were more likely to have a more productive workforce. Output per job in these industries is likely to have boosted by less time spent on commuting and better work life balance as a result of working from home.

Output per hour worked in the entire workforce in the first quarter of this year jumped 0.9% compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Industries most likely to have driven the strong productivity gains include financial and professional services, reflecting these firms’ ability to rapidly change their working practices without much disruption.


Posted on: 11 Jul 2021@11:48:43, updated on: 11 Jul 2021@11:48:43.


UK Workers Working Unpaid Overtime

The amount of unpaid overtime that workers around the world are doing has soared in the past year; unpaid overtime in the UK has steadily risen from six hours in 2019 to seven hours in 2020 in the advent of COVID-19, to almost eight hours in 2021, claims a new study by the ADP Research Institute, People at Work 2021: A Global Workforce View.

UK employees are currently working an average of 7.8 hours per week without pay, almost a full hour more than the European average of 6.7. 

One in four (26%) UK employees are giving away more than 10 hours per week for free to their employers – up from one in five before the pandemic in 2019. Given the demanding nature of their jobs, essential workers put in more unpaid overtime than non-essential workers – at 8.9 hours per week on average, compared to 6.9 hours.

Interestingly, this number rises exponentially in the younger age bracket, with 18-24-year-olds working an average of 9.35 hours unpaid. Perhaps the most shocking figures are reported by those in the Media/Information industries, who reported an average of 13.5 hours per week unpaid.

Working from home vs in the office

The effects of remote and hybrid working on productivity and unpaid overtime cannot be ignored, and as more and more businesses chart a path for returning to offices in some form. Those working from home it is estimated are putting in more unpaid overtime than those based in the workplace or on-site, at 8.1 hours per week on average, compared to 7.1 hours. However, those taking a hybrid approach, combining home working for part of the week and on-site working the rest of the time, believe they are doing the most of all, at 9.21 hours.

Both employees working from home and those taking a hybrid approach found maintaining productivity more challenging than those working on site or in the workplace. However, maintaining productivity was not necessarily a primary challenge for either demographic, with 13% of on site and hybrid workers reporting productivity as their main challenge in light of COVID-19, compared to 7% of those working on site.

The most common challenges for most workers were staying healthy, balancing work and family needs, and stress management.



Posted on: 4 Jul 2021@10:45:26, updated on: 4 Jul 2021@10:45:26.


South Africa needs to improve port efficiency

The president of South Africa has taken heed of damning container port ranking study issued last month by the World Bank. With South African box ports ranking near the bottom globally in terms of efficiency, Cyril Ramaphosa has decided to make the National Ports Authority (NPA) operate as a stand alone business under the aegis of state-owned freight logistics group Transnet.

Of 351 ports surveyed from around the world by the World Bank, in association with IHS Markit, South Africa fared very poorly. Durban, for instance, was deemed the third worst port in the world in terms of efficiency where boxes take more than three times as long to load or unload compared to many Asian ports.

The Container Port Performance Index 2020 (CPPI) ranks the world’s container ports based largely on dwell time, seen as a reflection of the ports’ processes and infrastructure.

Turloch Mooney, associate director, port analytics at IHS Markit and the organisation’s lead on the port index project, said “The CPPI is a reference point for governments and the other stakeholders in the global economy to identify gaps in performance and associated risks, and hopefully take measures to close those gaps and move this essential agenda forward.”



Posted on: 28 Jun 2021@13:57:14, updated on: 28 Jun 2021@13:57:14.


Furloughed workers return to work

A survey of 8,000 workers by YouGov, commissioned by the Resolution Foundation, found that of the employees furloughed during the first and second national lockdowns, four in five (80%) were back working in the first week of June.

The research also found that almost seven in 10 (69%) of those who were still furloughed in October 2020 – a group the think-tank said were the least likely to return to work post furlough – have since returned to work.

In addition, the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.7% in June, down from its peak of 5.1% at the end of 2020.

The Resolution Foundation suggested this was because of the extension of the job retention scheme and the fact that the UK produced more GDP during the pandemic than previously thought.

But, while the rate of people returning to work was encouraging, the report warned that “although the labour market is tightening, it is very far from tight”.

Posted on: 28 Jun 2021@13:44:42, updated on: 28 Jun 2021@13:44:42.


The future of remote working

Research by McKinsey & Co indicates that organisations look to the post pandemic future, many are planning a hybrid virtual model that combines remote work with time in the office. This sensible decision follows solid productivity increases during the pandemic.

But while productivity may have gone up, many employees report feeling anxious and burned out. Unless leaders address the sources of employee anxiety, pandemic-style productivity gains may prove unsustainable in the future. That’s because anxiety is known to reduce job satisfaction, negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues, and decrease work performance.

The survey results make the source of anxiety clear: employees feel they’ve yet to hear enough about their employers’ plans for post-COVID-19 working arrangements. Organisations may have announced a general intent to embrace hybrid virtual work going forward, but too few of them, employees say, have shared detailed guidelines, policies, expectations, and approaches. And the lack of remote-relevant specifics is leaving employees anxious.

As organisational leaders chart the path toward the post pandemic world, they need to communicate more frequently with their employees—even if their plans have yet to solidify fully. Organisations that have articulated more specific policies and approaches for the future workplace have seen employee well-being and productivity rise.

Posted on: 27 Jun 2021@17:50:31, updated on: 27 Jun 2021@17:50:31.


Labour Productivity in Ireland greater than EU

Labour productivity in Republic grows at three times EU rate

Labour productivity in the Republic of Ireland – a key driver of income – grew at three times the European average between 2010 and 2019, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

The CSO estimates it grew by an average of 3.6% a year prior to the pandemic, more than three times the EU average of 1%.

Much of the strong growth is driven by multinationals and the transfer of intellectual property assets here since 2015. The CSO said that productivity in sectors dominated by foreign-owned multinationals rose 8.8% annually during the period, while productivity in the domestic sector rose by 0.83% cent a year.

Conversely the Republic’s “labour share” – defined as the proportion of value attributed to labour as opposed to capital – has been declining and is one of the lowest in Europe.

It fell to a series low in 2018/2019 of 33%, down from 49% in 2010.

Posted on: 27 Jun 2021@17:28:42, updated on: 27 Jun 2021@17:28:42.


The importance of Work/Life balance

Image result for illustration+work+life+balanceResearch by HR software firm Personio found taht 58%, of employees in the UK, felt that good work/life balance is a priority.

This is compared to 25% of HR leaders who believe that mental health / employee well-being initiatives are a top priority for the HR function over the next 12 months. This highlights a disconnect between the priorities of employees and employers.

At the same time, 15% of HR decision makers stated that workplace culture initiatives were a priority while 39% of employees say a good workplace culture is a priority for them.

The research also highlights the importance of employee wellbeing and company culture when it comes to talent retention and productivity. Nearly a quarter, or 23%, of employees say that worsening work/life balance would encourage them to look for a new job if this were to happen in the next six months, and 21% say that a toxic workplace culture would encourage them to look elsewhere.

In terms of productivity, 83% of employees state that a ‘good’ workplace culture helps them to be more productive. Meanwhile, employees say that low levels of motivation and morale (28%) and burnout, from overworking or being ‘always on’ (22%) are the top two factors that negatively impact on their productivity. 

Posted on: 26 Jun 2021@15:30:04, updated on: 26 Jun 2021@15:30:04.