One of the most enduring challenges that has faced the UK has been its shortfall in productivity compared to other countries. Understandably, solving the problem has been an obsession of British commerce and governments for many years. Yet little progress has been made.
By the economic definition of productivity, GDP per hours worked, we have lower productivity than the average of all six of the EU’s major economies and in the time a British worker contributes £1 to the economy, a German worker adds £1.35.
This matters at the macroeconomic level for the country’s prosperity but it also reflects something is not quite right within the economy. Why are British firms lagging behind their European counterparts? The complexities of the productivity puzzle are discussed at length in a briefing from the Bank of England in March 2017, not least its sheer intractability.
This white paper explores:
- The history of productivity research
- What makes knowledge workers more productive at work
- The physical workplace environment and its impact on productivity