UK businesses are heading for a massive productivity crisis

UK business faces ‘Productivity Collapse’ as nation’s workers admit they can now get away with almost two day’s less work each week without anyone noticing

  • Average UK remote worker* claims they can do 2 hours and 20 minutes less work each day without their boss noticing
  • Two-thirds of UK workers claim their manager has made things worse or had no impact on their performance during lockdown, and one in five don’t know what is going on day-to-day in their wider team
  • One third of UK workforce confirm they feel less motivated and have been less productive whilst working from home during lockdown


London, 9th June: The UK economy is on the brink of a productivity collapse, with British workers admitting they could get away with an average of 2 hours and 20 minutes less work each day, and more than one third feeling less motivated as a result of remote working during the pandemic. These were among the key findings from a first-of-its-kind study launched today by behavioural science and workforce performance consultancy Mind Gym.

The research has found that one third of the UK workforce is less motivated in their job (36.65%) and as a result, admit to being less productive (30.06%). Nearly half of the UK workforce (43.38%) admitting that they can do more than 2 hours less work a day without their manager noticing while working from home.

Mind Gym attributes this pending productivity collapse to managers being unable to adapt their leadership style to periods of remote working, which in turn leads to workers feeling stressed, demotivated and directionless.

Half (49.5%) of UK workers claim their manager has had no impact on their performance whatsoever during remote working, whilst almost a fifth (18.9%) claim their manager has had a negative impact. One in four workers (27.9%) feel either a ‘clear lack of guidance’ or ‘bored by their work, whilst more than one in five (22%) UK workers claim to ‘not know what is going on’ within their immediate team on a day-to-day basis. A quarter (24.5%) feel ‘tired and exhausted’, whilst one in five (20.4%) are suffering from loneliness whilst working from home

The study, conducted through consultation with over 2,000 respondents from the UK workforce – all of whom are currently employed and working from home (i.e., not on furlough or serving notice) – has highlighted the need for stronger leadership and management during remote working as critical for businesses.

Based on ONS statistics from last month, the average UK working week consists of 36.5 hours. Based on a five-day working week, the average UK worker doing 2 hours and 20 minutes less work daily (11 hours and 40 minutes) equates to a catastrophic drop in productivity of more than 30% per week.

Octavius Black, co-founder and CEO of Mind Gym and behavioural science expert commented: “Given the anxiety from lockdown and the ineffectiveness of managers in this new environment, masses of UK workers are likely either to opt-out or burnout.  The impact on UK’s productivity would be catastrophic. The way to prevent this crisis is not to stop remote working, which when properly handled can bring great benefits, but for leaders to step up and develop the new managerial muscles needed to lead effectively in this turbulent era.  Those taking steps now will safeguard their teams and businesses. The rest won’t realise the damage until it is too late to recover. Company bosses who want to prevent a productivity collapse tomorrow must give top priority to supporting their managers today.”

Given remote working will be prevalent for most sectors for the foreseeable future, and may even become permanent for many, this productivity drop is an existential threat for businesses large and small.

A deeper dive into the data shows that respondents within the 45-54 demographic have felt the biggest decline in motivation (43.8%), directly corresponding with those sitting in director roles (44.4%). A significant proportion have experienced weaker work relationships (15.2%) and disengagement with the wider business (15.2%), since lockdown, and a third of respondents are struggling with the blurred line between home and work (31.4%).

Sebastian Bailey, Co-Founder and President of Mind Gym, and a behavioural psychologist explain: “Managing remotely and in a crisis require a set of advanced leadership and management skills that are often lacking in organisations.  The perfect storm of the COVID pandemic, economic uncertainty, and social unrest makes the challenge all the greater.  Managers need to provide hope, share purpose, and build belonging in their teams.  They then need to empower their team and foster accountability.  If businesses don’t recognise the need to coach their managers in those skills, they will be facing an exhausted, demoralised workforce and a collapse in productivity.”

MindGym is a behavioural science-based organisational consulting firm, that helps companies such as Unilever, Microsoft, Audi and GlaxoSmithKline, as well as most of FTSE100 and S&P100, to realise their people advantage and improve business performance.

The research was conducted in partnership with Censuswide, one of the world’s leading insight-drive research consultancies. The data was gathered through an online consultation with over 2,000 respondents, all of whom are fully employed in the UK and currently working from home.

*(Remote worker in this instance refers to a person working from home for an extended period of time as a result of the lockdown)


About Mind Gym

For further information about Mind Gym, visit the website at

About Censuswide:

For further information about Censuswide, visit the website at

For further information, please contact:

W Communications


T: 07896094017

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