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Which are the UK’s most productive and over-worked cities?

Work management software Scoro has released a new study focusing on productivity in the UK. Based on a survey of over 2,000 respondents, it offers fascinating insights on the most productive cities and sectors, as well as where people feel most overworked, their attitude towards hybrid working and the key distractions for office and remote workers.

Manchester (71%) claimed the top spot with the most productive workers, with Brighton (69%) and Nottingham (66%) rounding out the top three. Meanwhile, Plymouth (48%) turned out to be the least productive city in the UK, followed by Liverpool (53%) and Glasgow (56%).

Both Healthcare and Retail, Catering & Leisure consider themselves to be the most productive sectors at a rate of 69%. Arts & Culture (51%) ranked bottom among the most productive industries in the UK, while Education and Manufacturing & Utilities workers are tied in second-to-last place with 58%.

Leeds found itself tied with Brighton as Britain’s most overworked city, with 48% of respondents in each location working more hours than contracted, while Glasgow (26%) and Newcastle (28%) have the least workers who feel overworked.

The study also revealed that some of the working day’s distractions don’t change all that much between working from the office and working from home. For example, making drinks still comes out on top in both situations, and eating snacks ranks third. That said, the extent to which people are distracted by these things is actually higher in the office (41% in the office and 37% at home for drinks; 35% in the office and 33% at home for snacks).

The second biggest distraction for those working from home turned out to be making food (33%) while for office workers it’s talking to colleagues about non-work related topics (39%). However, some of the findings were to be expected – about one third of office and remote workers spend time on social media (33% in the office and 32% at home) and text messaging (33% in the office and 30% at home).

While a stunning 22% of home workers watch TV/Netflix during working hours, which takes up an average of 1 hour and 7 minutes of their time. Another major time-consuming distraction is searching for a new job, which people spend a surprisingly similar amount of time doing both when working remotely and in the office. Respondents spend 46 minutes of their home working day trying to find another job, compared to the still high 42 minutes at the office.

Other key findings from the survey:

  • 44% of British workers prefer hybrid working, 36% prefer working from home, and only 17% of people prefer working from the office
  • 47% of workers admitted they can’t get through a day without any distractions
  • Younger workers aged 16-24 (55%) and 25-34 (38%) are more eager to return to the office than older generations
  • 40% of British workers say they work more hours than contracted
  • People are most productive between 7-11am (66%)
  • 19% of Brits would quit their job if asked to work from the office full time
  • Only 11% of people stay productive through entire day
  • Workers living in Norwich spend on average 2 hours and 2 minutes per day on watching TV/Netflix
  • HR workers spend more time than any other sectors on watching TV/Netflix during working hours (1 hour and 37 minutes)

Dan Roche, VP of Marketing at Scoro, said: “When it comes to the new world of work, every firm is ‘building the plane while flying it’ and making big decisions about their staff with very little data or precedent.

“The divergence in productivity across different sectors and regions is alarming for UK Plc.  However, the research shows how much of an impact distractions are, and how common a problem this is for workers, and by association, their employers.”

“Our survey has highlighted the key things that need attention, namely how and where people want to work, the distractions preventing them from doing their job, and whether they are being overworked. But employers now have the data they need to support their staff, while employees can see whether their own productivity is representative of their region, industry or age!”