Digitalisation and Productivity – A Dynamic Duo or Doomed to Fail?

Matt Cloke

How productive are you in the average day? In recent years, the working population has admitted to being frequently distracted by discussions with colleagues, internet problems, and snack breaks.

This time adds up and a survey from Blind found that 45% of professionals worked for four hours, or less, in each eight-hour workday. With the ‘productivity problem’ hitting the headlines, how can business leaders increase productivity and, subsequently, employee output and ROI, without creating an unhealthy work environment?

Changing methodology

Creating a healthy and productive work environment takes active effort from across the whole business.

We're in an age where business transformation is crucial to remain competitive. However, when companies get it wrong, they risk decreasing employee satisfaction and exacerbating the productivity problem even further. According to a recent Endava report, 1 in 2 digitalisation projects undertaken in the past year failed to achieve their projected outcome.

To reverse this trend, corporations must change their approach towards digital transformation; from a one-and-done quick switch to an ever-evolving, employee-led transition. In fact, 39% of respondents found that employee buy-in was a key hurdle to a successful transformation.


Reflecting on failed projects, over 50% of those surveyed admitted that they should have placed more emphasis on people-centric investments, such as improving communication between IT and business elements, and upskilling staff.

While data is key to understanding the best route forward, it is not the defining feature of success. Instead, the steps should be personalised to fit the unique needs of each company’s employees.

For example, when uninformed about the purpose behind changes within the company, individuals will naturally resist amendments to their regular, day-to-day routine. To offset this, the objectives of digital transformation should be communicated to employees, with user training delivered close to implementation.

Another barrier to change is siloed departments, resulting in individual teams attempting to digitalise, but, ultimately, failing to transform more than their own workflow. To encourage collaboration across the business, leaders should open efficient communication streams between staff, and ensure data is uploaded to a central platform, such as the cloud, where relevant information can be accessed by all those who need to. With efficiency on their side, productivity will naturally improve.

A worthy investment?

With an unsteady global economic climate, and corporations forced to tighten their purse strings, reluctance to invest in digital transformation is understandable and yet, could be holding companies back.

Endava’s report revealed that 54% of organisations found that successful enterprise-wide automation improved day-to-day activities of employees at a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ level. With the working population facing a ‘productivity crisis’, isn’t any investment cited to improve efficiency levels worth the money?

From training employees to reducing data and workflow siloes, there are numerous steps that leaders can take to ensure their digital transformation is successful, while simultaneously increasing efficiency of their employees. In the long-term, a worker-centric approach will lead to increased ROI and employee retention, with productivity levels raised and every individual feeling included in the company’s growth plan.

Written by
June 25, 2024
Written by
Matt Cloke