10 October 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
UK businesses stand to benefit from £34.1 billion in productivity gains if their workforces had better access to connectivity, according to research released by O2 Business.
As the UK is the only major advanced economy expected to record slowing productivity growth this year (according to data published by The Conference Board think tank), investment in connectivity could provide a welcome boost to productivity levels,
This follows the Bank of England's recent warning that Brexit uncertainty has inhibited output per worker by up to 5 per cent.
In the second main study of its kind in five years, O2's report - entitled Business Without Boundaries: The Role of Connectivity in Business Growth - has found that enhanced connectivity could deliver overall time savings of 3.14 hours a week for each employee - or an extra 18 working days a year, representing a significant advantage for workers and British business.
Giving people the ability to work where, when and how they prefer can reduce time commuting to fixed places of work, enabling a more efficient use of working time.
Since O2's first Smarter Working Britain report in 2014, good progress has been made in the uptake of tools that enable wider adoption of remote working, with Britain's biggest businesses already benefiting from a productivity boost of up to £10.5 billion as more workers divide their time between office locations and working from home.
However, if all employers embraced the potential benefits of offering a range of connectivity tools and technology - such as videoconferencing and real-time collaboration apps - the UK economy could see an additional £14.7 billion in productivity gains for SMEs, and a further £19.4 billion for large companies.