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Telecoms staff work hardest - report

Telecommunications workers are the most productive, according to a study

If you're looking to find the hardest workers, you might want to turn your attention towards telecoms, according to a new report.

Out of the 14 sectors that came under the microscope in the study by Proudfoot Consulting, the most productive was telcos, where employees spend 72 per cent of their time in a productive way, compared to the global average of 61 per cent.

The study examined behaviour in companies across countries in Europe and Africa as well as the US and Australia, and found that UK firms are only managing to achieve just 60 per cent productivity -- the equivalent of 85 working days lost a year. While it's not a statistic for UK Plc to pride itself on, British productivity is on an upward trajectory, said the report.

The lost productivity is apparently due in no large part to shoddy management -- two-thirds of the wasted time is lost as a result of staff being mismanaged.

Kevin Parry, chairman at Proudfoot Consulting, said in a statement: "Companies proudly proclaim that people are their most important asset but then consistently fail to use that resource effectively. Management must shoulder the burden of responsibility for this. Our field studies show that too many managers lack the skills necessary to deliver a culture of high productivity in their organisations."

Managers may want to start watching their backs -- the UPS Europe Business Monitor study has shown that company bosses in the UK are looking far more likely to be handing out P45s -- 26 per cent are willing to get rid of senior exec costs, compared to just 18 per cent in Belgium and 16 per cent in Germany.

Across the globe, however, the biggest cause of lost productivity was found to be insufficient planning, at 41 per cent. Other causes include IT-related problems and poor morale.