Sunday 27 May 2018

Optimising workplaces could boost employee productivity - and the Irish economy

Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh Ireland and UK
Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh Ireland and UK
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Ireland's economy could benefit if our workplaces were optimised with up-to-date technologies and changes in culture and environment, according to new research.

The study, carried out by Ricoh and Oxford Economics, found that €3.4bn could be unlocked by firms here through digital transformation.

Adopting ethical business practices and enhancing office workspaces were also cited as ways to generate more GDP in 'The Economy of People'.

The research found that sectors that would benefit most from this overhaul would be financial services (€1bn), healthcare (€854m), business services (€555m), education (€489m) and the public sector (€468m).

Managers and employees across the UK and Ireland took part in the study which found that the large majority (93pc) of Irish workers' productivity levels are impacted by their workstations.

The standard of the general office environment, namely airflow and lighting, and communal areas, including break-out rooms and meeting areas, were noted by staff as playing a part.

Business leaders agreed, with 87pc surveyed believing that office environment has an effect on working performance and 67pc noting that the optimisation of workstations was crucial.

But, while technology and remote working tools remain important to Irish workers, 90pc said that business ethics and values encourage them to work more effectively.

"This new research really demonstrates the importance of culture, workspace and technology in terms of employee efficiency and business performance," Chas Moloney, Director, Ricoh Ireland and UK, said.

"Of course, it’s not solely about output, it’s about enabling effective decision-making, promoting wellbeing, encouraging innovation and establishing trust among workers.

"Irish businesses have a responsibility to assess and enhance where and how people work. In return, companies will benefit from heightened levels of productivity and employees who are invested in the optimal office.”

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