GREATER productivity can be achieved if processes and systems in the workplace are simplified, according to a survey by Ernst & Young.

Of 110 Singapore workers polled, 70 per cent said cumbersome work processes and systems were a key hindrance to productivity in Singapore.

Two other problems: having to do low-quality work (67 per cent) and poor utilisation of resources (48 per cent).

'As boardrooms look at enhancing productivity, they should also consider reviewing their internal systems and reduce unnecessary administrative processes that add little value to the organisation's productivity and performance.'

One example is duplication. When submitting forms for the approval of a budget, for instance, companies have multiple forms instead of a standard template, Mrs Tan said.

When asked what could alleviate these problems, the integration of systems and applications was the answer that came out tops, with 79 per cent saying it would enhance productivity in their organisation.

Innovation is also a strong push factor to improving productivity, said Mrs Tan.

'A culture of innovation in the workplace where new ideas are celebrated and rewarded is not only helpful towards enhancing productivity, but also increasing competitiveness in the organisation.'

Some ways in which companies can improve productivity include setting up a formal structure for 'intrapreneurship', where employees are given enough time away from their day jobs to work on creative ideas.

However, parameters and processes have to be in place to ensure that the time spent is productive and that the ideas are given the opportunity to develop and take root.

Also, firms can explore government incentives for innovation, such as the Productivity and Innovation Credit.

The survey also found that Singaporean employees are most motivated by work-life balance, with nearly 60 per cent of the workers polled saying that it is a key factor.

Mrs Tan explained: 'In a highly competitive economy like Singapore, our workers are expected to work hard and deliver consistently. Thus, a balanced life between personal space and work is a much sought-after quality.'

The next two factors that motivate workers are manager and team dynamics (55 per cent) and compensation (52 per cent).

'The fact that compensation scores as a third-most important key driver underlines the fact that monetary rewards are not the silver bullet in lifting productivity. Managers need to look into other factors, such as innovation, to enhance productivity in the workplace,' added Mrs Tan.

The survey was conducted earlier this month, and polled workers from both the public and private sectors.