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UK businesses waste £60 billion a year on admin

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Manual and out-dated systems and technology were found to be a productivity and engagement drain

UK businesses waste £60 billion a year on unnecessary admin tasks according to a report from The Workforce Institute and Kronos.

The report, The £60 billion Question, found that employees spend 7% of their working week on unnecessary administration tasks, costing UK Plc an estimated £1,932 per year, per employee. Kronos calculated that reducing wasted time by one hour per week per employee, would save £690 per employee per year, or £21.4 billion overall for UK business.

Manual systems were found to be a productivity drain, with 72% of respondents blaming a loss of productivity on these. More than three quarters (77%) of HR and managers believed out-dated systems and technology was their biggest workforce management challenge.

Engagement was also found to be a major issue, with only 34% of respondents rating employee engagement as strong in their organisation. Less than half (49%) of HR respondents said their people are among the top three assets of their organisation.

Neil Pickering, industry and customer insight manager for Kronos, drew a link between this admin burden and low engagement, reporting that the survey “paints a picture of a UK workforce burdened by unnecessary complexity, leaving employees torn between the competing demands of customers and management targets".

“Small, simple changes can create big rewards,” he said, adding: "Focusing on employee engagement is a win-win for business and any organisation’s most valuable asset – employees.”

Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos, said that strong employee engagement is fundamental to a business’s bottom line, with engaged employees much more likely to “go the extra mile”.

“However, this report demonstrates that engagement is not currently a core focus for HR teams or business leaders,” she said. “To retain talent and create a motivated, productive workforce, businesses need to put their focus on their people through better communication and collaboration. This is the solution to the £60 billion question.”