Technology boosts productivity, research shows

22 October 2013
By Tereza Pultarova
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Advancements in information and communication technology have contributed to a dramatic increase in work productivty

Advancements in information and communication technology have contributed to a dramatic increase in work productivty

Office workforce productivity has increased by 84 per cent over the last four decades thanks to advancements in digital technology.

According to a report published by O2 Business and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), mobile phones, emails and business software are continuously improving productivity, which is expected to rise by further 22 per cent in the next seven years as new high tech products enter the market.

Since the 1972, the information and communication technology has led to a 480 per cent growth in productivity per hour, revolutionising the workplace.

An extraordinarily steep rate of growth has been identified to have taken place during the 1990s and 2000s, mostly attributed to some key innovations and products. The 1990 launch of Microsoft’s Windows 3.0, the 1992 introduction of dial-up Internet and the 1998 start of the Google search engine have been named among the most significant contributions to the productivity increase.  

"Productivity is important because it is the primary driver of economic growth in the long run," said Colm Sheehy, senior economist at the CEBR.

"For example, employees can now work anywhere they need to - whether that is in the office, from home or even on the move. They can easily access and edit documents on smart devices, and use connectivity like 4G and Wi-Fi to stay in touch wherever they are,” he said, adding that such flexibility enables workers to get more done during the working day than ever before.

According to the report, introduced at the O2 Business Show Live in London, technologies such as Office 365, 4G and cloud, are directly responsible for the latest shift in productivity.

"The findings from our report show how the increasing use and investment in technology by UK businesses has allowed us to work smarter, and as a result we are more productive,” said O2 business director Ben Dowd.

"Our research confirms my prediction that as digital Britain advances we will continue to see employees' productivity improve, and as more businesses adopt technology that enables them to be flexible we're likely to see even greater growth than forecast in the future.”

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