An Ernst & Young study has estimated the cost of underproductivity of Australian workers at over $41 billion a year in salaries alone.
However, while the poll found that almost one-third of Aussie employees are not productive, the real reasons for their low productivity are delays due to red tape and lack of trust in the company's management.
U.S. non-farm productivity fell in the first quarter by 0.5 percent as the country's employment base increased, the Labor Department said Thursday.
According to the survey's 2,500 respondents, 12 per cent of wasted employees' time are spent on meaningless production, 16 per cent on waiting for processing to finish, 13 per cent on pending technology, 4 per cent on social media, 15 per cent on email, 11 per cent on production waste, 13 per cent on wasted motion and defects and 9 per cent on useless meetings.
Less than 50 per cent of the workers were considered solid contributors to the company. These are the workers who spend at least two-thirds of their time on productive work. About 24 per cent were often unproductive and another 7 per cent spend about three months every year on sick leave.
However, one noteworthy finding of the study is that workers tend to move from different productive phases in their career. Neil Plumridge, advisory leader of Ernst & Young, explained it to several factors such as people feeling they are in the wrong job, unutilised skills, perception of poor management and disengagement with their workplace. To address these issues, he recommended retraining staff to match skills with functions, reduction of red tape and the creation of high-performing and supportive team environments.
Meanwhile, another study by WorkSafe Victoria released on Monday found that not all blue workers are healthy even if their jobs involve physical work that would help them keep fit. The report said 32 per cent of manufacturing workers were at high risk of type 2 diabetes.
In contrast, among white collar or professional, scientific and technical services workers, those at high risk was at a lesser 18.3 per cent. The study was based on almost 41,000 voluntary WorkHealth checks on the cholesterol level, blood pressure and lifestyle behaviours of blue collar workers.
Besides risk for diabetes, 6.1 per cent of manufacturing workers also had high risk of heart ailments and 25.2 per cent smoked. In contrast, only 3.1 per cent of white collar workers registered high risk for coronary diseases and 13.6 per cent smoked.
Wayne Kayler-Thomson, WorkHealth ambassador, explained the worsening health indicators of blue collar workers to changes in the manufacturing sector as jobs became more sedentary due to new technology. White collar workers, in turn, took steps to alter their lifestyles such as the availability of healthier menu in office cafeterias and workers biking their way to the offices.
Mr Kayler-Thomson recommended that the manufacturing industry catch up with the health initiatives placed in offices. It includes the provision of facilities to enable blue collar workers to ride to work, stretch programmes at the start of each shift and longer-term health related contests and challenges.
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