UK industry should further adopt technology in order to address its drop in productivity, according to new research by Lancaster University’s Work Foundation.

In a report, entitled ‘Productivity, Technology & Working Anywhere’, the researchers state that following the financial crisis, “UK productivity has been particularly slow to recover and the gap with competing economies is getting wider”.

In addition, the report authors point out that “rates of digitisation within businesses are only around the EU average and UK businesses as a whole are not pioneers, leading the way in technologically-driven operations at work”.

Among the findings of the report was the fact that 80 per cent of employees feel technology “has a positive influence on their productivity at work”. Meanwhile, two in three managers report seeing a correlation between technology and their organisation’s performance.

However, just 54 per cent of managers believe their organisation is technologically forward-thinking.

When addressing which factors could most significantly affect productivity levels, respondents to the survey named technology (53 per cent) and changing ways of working, such as flexible working (45 per cent).

Lesley Giles, director at Lancaster University’s Work Foundation, said: “Everyone should be able to benefit from developments in technology, working practices and feel supported and engaged to perform at their best.

“However, employers need to be mindful about the ways in which they integrate technology into processes and the effects this has on individuals and their roles – it is not about removing low-value jobs but low-value tasks, to create more good jobs.”

She added that this must be combined with strategies to allow employees the “space and time to experiment” with new ways of doing things, as well as to learn both from making mistakes and discovering what works well.

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