Work and Wellbeing · 23 November 2017

Vast majority of small businesses struggle with productivity levels

The majority of businesses need to improve productivity levels
The majority of businesses need to improve productivity levels
Only 14 per cent of small businesses claim that productivity levels are not an issue, leaving the majority struggling with inefficiencies.

This is according to research from Opus Energy, which also found that, as a result, many SMEs are investigating ways to help nurture and inspire employees.

Wellbeing measures, such as flexible working, were the most popular tactic for 40 per cent of respondents, alongside monetary rewards with 35 per cent of SMEs offering bonuses and perks and a further 30 per cent claiming to pay above average salaries. However, there was a significant pay difference between small and micro businesses – only 20 per cent of micro businesses offered better pay, compared with 41 per cent of businesses with 50 or more employees.

In addition, 22 per cent of SME owners set up their business near other likeminded businesses, including 12 per cent of SMEs sharing office space to make the most of a culture of innovation and ideas generation.

Nikki Flanders, Opus Energy COO, commented: “With a vast 86 per cent of SMEs saying they’re struggling with productivity leves, the gravity of the situation has meant that businesses are now changing their approach and putting their employees first.

“This is definitely the right approach, as employees drive businesses forward and provide the foundations for success. It’s good to see small businesses engaging their employees and implementing measures to help talent be at their best, as this in turn will enable them to perform at their optimum in the workplace.”

According to a recent report by Nesta, SME productivity levels vary nationwide. The most productive part of the UK is the City of London, which is 26 times more productive than the least productive area, West Somerset. Productivity is here defined as aggregate SME turnover divided by aggregate SME employment.

For more information to help support the health and wellbeing of your employees please visit:

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Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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