Britain has a big productivity problem

A new study has revealed a largely negative mood among British workers, with many unable to rely on colleagues or feel that they need to work to the best of their ability.

Dropbox, which published the report in association with the School of Life, said employees often find it difficult to work if they feel as if others aren’t “pulling their weight”.

According to the survey, one in five Brits admit they never work to the “best of their ability”, while three-quarters said they don’t work to the best of their ability even once a week.

That might be because a quarter (23 per cent) of the 2,000 people surveyed think their colleagues are lazy. Furthermore, a third of employees have had to cover up a mistake made by a co-worker, and a third (35 per cent) think the people working around them are not up to the job.

Brennan Jacoby, from The School of Life, said: “Fundamentally people have a natural inclination towards laziness and without clear roles and actions we are drawn towards loafing and freeriding.

“It may sound harsh, but most of us are guilty of it in some form daily.

“Often it’s not a lack of motivation causing this, more often it can be a lack of clarity – give team members clear roles and responsibilities and the chances are productivity and happiness will both rise.”

Chris Noon, from Dropbox, added: “Teamwork is one of the most vital assets for organisations.

“It is difficult for teams to work properly when it appears that not all of the members are pulling their weight – or quite simply not up to the task.

“Bosses can help counteract this by creating ‘safe spaces’ – an open, supportive, collaborative and motivational team environment to get the best out of their teams.”

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