Technology has been identified as the key driver to boosting productivity by as much as 20 per cent.
A new report entitled the ‘Power of Productivity’ was commissioned by Vodafone UK and drew upon decade-long research by the London School of Economics and Political Science.
It identified management best practice, technology and flexible working as the three key levers in unlocking business productivity.
The LSE’s Dr Alexander Grous, who led the research, told BusinessCloud: “Combining management best practice and tech leads to a 20 per cent uplift in performance regardless of location.
“This applies across both SMEs and enterprise organisations.
“We found that the speed of adoption of new technologies is faster with SMEs, but the same principles apply to small and big companies – enterprise needs to understand that.”
The research was based on 20,000 interviews at firm level with production managers and MDs in 35 countries. Of those, 90 per cent worked for SMEs and 10 per cent in enterprise.
Phil Mottram, head of enterprise at Vodafone UK, told us that SMEs have more desire to move quickly.
“Bigger enterprise organisations move more incrementally, in terms of both tech adoption and the introduction of flexible working, which tech is also key to,” he said.
“The area which moves fastest is the public sector – it has a firm agenda around austerity so it is more likely to take radical steps as incremental change won’t be enough.
“Most of the services we provide help productivity – hence our interest in the LSE research.
“We have a concept called ‘the Ready Business’ which firms can use to self-assess their ability to change.
“The key questions for big firms are: 1. how do you generate more revenue; and 2. how do you reduce costs?
“Tech can affect both: by making sure you never miss a call, through the adoption of automated systems, and by increasing the number of employees working in a particular building so you can save space.
“We work with firms who want to become more digital and look at how tech infrastructure can help our customers.”
Grous added: “We have found over the years that the no.1 impediment to implementing flexible working changes is concern over security, but this has evolved to become less of an obstruction.
“We also find that employee engagement is greatest when companies support flexible working – it motivates their staff.”