Episode 18 – Productivity and well-being
How can productivity benefit not just business and the economy, but also ourselves? What does it take for a society to grow productivity and raise well-being? Can digital technology make us happier, as well as more productive?
In this episode, we look at which investments are needed to create more well-being and what role social factors, such as trust, play in raising productivity and well-being. The discussion is varied, with conversations about how we measure well-being effectively and what further data is needed to make informed choices, as well as a debate on whether digital technology has a positive impact on our lives and on our productivity as a whole.
Host Professor Bart van Ark is joined by:
- Conal Smith, Senior Economist at the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington
- Tim Hazledine, Professor of Economics at the University of Auckland Business School (retired)
- Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge
Listen now ↓
Episode 16: Can productivity rescue the global economic recovery?
Are economies making the most of their human and material resources? Through most of modern history, we've assumed that progress in technology and efficiency will make every person employed and our work more productive over time. Is this a hopeful trend? Is it still holding true? Will it hold true throughout the 21st Century?
This special episode of Productivity Puzzles has been produced in conjunction with The Conference Board, a non-profit business membership and research group organisation based in New York. For a change, The Productivity Institute’s Managing Director Bart van Ark is not hosting, but is instead being interviewed about global productivity by The Conference Board’s CEO, Steve Odland.
The topics covered in this episode include globalisation, the role of governments in facilitating productive companies, the diffusion of technology, labour shortages and whether productivity growth is linear.
- Steve Odland, CEO of The Conference Board
- Bart van Ark, Managing Director of the Productivity Institute and Professor of Productivity Studies at the Alliance Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester
For more information on the topic: The Conference Board, Global Labor Productivity 2022: Stagnating, But Still Above Prepandemic Levels, 2022
Episode 14: Staying productive in uncertain times
How do we respond to uncertainties that crises create? Are they holding us back in investing, hiring and innovating? Or can crises make us more agile and resilient, perhaps even more creative and inventive? How do we balance risks and opportunities? And what might that mean for productivity? The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the renewed level of geopolitical uncertainty from the war in Ukraine will upset our economies, businesses, jobs and living standards for years to come.
Host Bart van Ark is joined by three experts in economic and business forecasting to discuss how global political and economic uncertainty affects productivity and what we can do to respond.
Episode 12 : The Links between Productivity and Pay
Do productivity gains always end up in our pockets in terms of better pay? In this episode, we’ve invited scholars from the US, Canada and the UK to discuss their recent research, published in the International Productivity Monitor, which suggests productivity doesn't always make everyone better off. We are going to explore how and why the links between productivity and pay have changed over time, look at the key drivers and discuss what can be done about it. And if productivity doesn’t always lead to wage growth, what happens if that changes - are companies that pay better likely to become more productive? Let’s find out. Our guests are:
- Anna Stansbury, Assistant Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
- Larry Mishel, a distinguished fellow at Economic Policy Institute in Washington DC.
- Andreas Teichgräber, a researcher at the Centre Economic Performance at London School of Economics, and a member of the Programme on Innovation and Diffusion (POID).
Episode 10: Health and productivity in the workplace
Are healthy workers productive workers? And if so, why do companies still struggle to put health and well-being at the centre of good business performance? And how can this be changed?
In this episode, host Bart van Ark is joined by Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Alliance Manchester Business School. He’s a world leading expert on workers’ health and well-being and also President of the Chartered Institute of Personal Development in the UK. They discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on health and productivity, the challenges of new ways of working and why the health and well-being of a workforce should be a more central business imperative. Listen now ↓
Episode 8: How to Transform Performance?
How can companies transform their business through becoming more productive? What are the things stopping us doing this? What simple practical techniques are there to restore and increase productivity? In short, what is practical productivity? Host Bart van Ark is joined by Professor Mark Logan from the University of Glasgow, formerly of Skyscanner, Professor Mark Hart, an expert in entrepreneurship, enterprise and small business from Aston University and Paul Abraham, the Managing Director and Client Partner for the Local Public Service business for Capita.
Listen now ↓
Episode 6: How can productivity create sustained growth in Northern Ireland?
This year marks the centenary of Northern Ireland’s creation. What has it done for the economy? And in particular for the productivity of its people and businesses? Has greater economic stability in the 23 years since the Good Friday agreement helped to advance productivity? And what will Brexit and the Northern Ireland protocol mean for productivity going forward? Host Bart van Ark talks to three experts on the economy, business and the political environment in the region - Dame Rotha Johnston, Professor John Turner and Dr. Esmond Birnie - about the productivity pearls and perils in Northern Ireland. Listen now ↓
Episode 4: Can levelling up raise productivity in the Northern Powerhouse?
In this episode, Professor Bart van Ark talks to Lord Jim O’Neill, Dame Nancy Rothwell & Professor Philip McCann about raising productivity in the Northern Powerhouse, a powerful concept introduced more than five years ago with the aim to rebuild a competitive economy in northern England. They discuss what it’s delivered so far, its challenges, future directions and how it contributes to the government’s levelling-up agenda. Listen now ↓
Episode 2: Productivity in the post Covid-19 era
Could Covid-19 be the game changer for the economy and create a true productivity miracle in the coming years? In this episode, Bart van Ark talks to Jan Mischke and Tera Allas of McKinsey about a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute exploring whether productivity and growth will return after the Covid-19 crisis.
They discuss why businesses should focus on operational efficiency to improve productivity, how the boldest firms have emerged the strongest from the crisis and how rapid digitisation is transforming the retail and healthcare sectors. Listen now ↓
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