Can work be both productive and good?
Two big questions currently dominate policy thinking on the world of work. The first asks how we can make our organisations more productive, and the second asks how we can improve the quality of working lives. Of course, a huge complicating factor, is how the answers to these questions will be affected by the UK’s future relationship with the European Union. Most commentators seem to agree with the Chief Economist at the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, that the productivity problem is caused by a long tail (55% of companies) not copying new ideas from the those leading the way; whatthe RSA’s Matthew Taylor described as a “poor diffusion of innovation”.
Meanwhile the quality of work agenda seeks to address, amongst other things, the impact of the one-sided flexibility associated with business models often based upon the gig economy and zero-hours contracts. The broad quality of work agenda promotes values such as worker voice, work-life balance and job security.