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Poor productivity is costing UK businesses billions

(Image credit: Image Credit: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock)

Businesses are losing tons of money every year due to their employees wasting time on lengthy administrative tasks.

Sage's second annual Productivity Tracker says just in the United Kingdom, SMEs have lost 5.6 per cent of their time to non-productive assignments. That equals more than $50 billion in lost economic value, in the last 12 months alone. The report also argues that the amount of time businesses are spending on administrative tasks rose 0.9 per cent, compared to the year prior.

Out of the 11 countries that were polled for the report, Spain came off the worst, with employees there losing more than 10 per cent of their time handling administrative tasks. Americans have lost the most money – $346bn.

In most cases, employees waste their time on three main things: accountancy, generating invoices and human resources. For CBI's Head of Trade Policy, Jonathan Brenton, productivity is the “biggest long-term challenge” in the UK’s economy.

In order to solve the productivity issue, Sage suggests more technology and digital tools. The report claims that such tools could reduce time spent on administration.

“The UK has reached an important moment where digital – be it skills or tools – must be embraced by businesses in order to bring the next wave of economic growth,” MP Ed Vaizey said. “This means government and industry working together to better to understand the UK’s economy.”