The EY New Zealand Productivity Pulse™


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Productivity Pulse: key findings


Productivity Pulse: the wellbeing dividend


Productivity Pulse: animation of latest statistics

When asked, most workers could suggest a commonly understood definition of productivity. For most, productivity was defined as producing the same amount of work in less time, for the minority it was about producing more work in the same amount of time. At a time when business are looking to manage the impact of a slowing economy this is not surprising. However, it highlights a relatively elementary understanding of productivity amongst New Zealand workers.

Regardless, workers saw productivity as being important because it contributed to their job satisfaction and helped them take pride in their work. Asked for the top three benefits of improving productivity, 63% mentioned “a sense of personal achievement” and 40% mentioned “improved quality of the work I do”.  Thirty percent included “more profits for my organisation” in their top three, while 24% included “It presents a good impression to my manager”.  “Leaving work early” and “taking longer breaks” barely rated a mention.

Flexibility link with productivity

New Zealand’s most productive workers also have job flexibility – an important factor that leads to other benefits. Forty-six percent of Super Achievers feel they have a lot of flexibility in their role. By comparison, 58% percent of Lost Souls say they have little or no flexibility.

Workers who felt their roles were flexible also:

  • Felt productivity was important at all levels of an organisation
  • Actively tried to increase their own productivity
  • Were more satisfied
  • Were more likely to be working at their lifetime best
  • Were less likely to be planning to leave their organisation in the next 12 months.
Why is a role flexible? Why does a role lack flexibility?
Flexible working hours (32%) Set hours/days/set roster (23%)
Able to manage own workload/autonomous role (19%) I have to follow rules/no control/no choice/strict guidelines (22%)
Able to multi-task/not restricted to one field (11%) Set role/role is defined with limited flexibility (17%)
Can take time off as long as hours are met/flexi-time (11%) Because of management/no respect for employees (13%)

Flexibility in the workplace continues to be of importance as organisations and workers continue to be affected by uncertainty, leading to a strong desire to ‘win back control’ in some aspects of people’s lives. Workplace conditions offer a natural opportunity.


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