Office politics bill hits £7.8 billion

Jul 01 2002 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Office politics costs the UK British economy £6.2 billion a year in lost productivity, new research has claimed, while 63 million days are effectively Ďlostí due to poorly-managed meetings.

Based on a survey of 1,500 managers, management consultants SCQuARE reckon that slow decision-making and unproductive meetings are among the biggest wastes of company time, losing companies 36 million days of management time at a cost estimated at £11 billion.

The average manager effectively loses a day and a half's work every week because of the time-wasting effects of office politics and unproductive meetings, they added.

The biggest losers are smaller firms, where two thirds of managers believe that unnecessary or unproductive meetings cost them ten per cent of their time - 24 work days a year.

In 2002, recruitment outfit Reed also attempted to put a figure to office politics and came up with a not-dissimilar annual cost of £7.8 billion. Reed reckoned that Wales was the UKís politics hotbed, with 77 minutes of each working day spent on the subject.

Ross Lovelock, managing director of SCQuARE, said: "It is clear from the findings that managers have recognised that having good ideas alone is not enough, you also need the ability to sell them through the system."

The survey rated leadership as the most important single asset for any business but also suggested that creative thinking is more important to managers than financial management or selling skills.