JLR spends £5m on radios and ‘luxury workwear’

Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover looks to boost productivity at its Merseyside factory with a £5m investment in ‘luxury workwear’… and switching on the radio. Tony McDonough reports

Jaguar Land Rover is looking to boost productivity with radios and ‘luxury workwear’


For decades workplaces up and down the land have worked with the radio on in the background – but does it boost morale and productivity or is it a distraction.

Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has consulted its UK workforce and decided listening to music while they work will have a positive impact. Now radios are being switched on across its sites in a £5m plan that will also see the rollout of new ‘luxury workwear’.

JLR operates the Halewood factory in Merseyside where more than 3,500 workers assemble the Range Rover, Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Over the next few weeks they will start listening to the radios across the factory. They will also be trying on their new ‘stylish’ workplace clothing for the first time.

Working in any manufacturing environment can be challenging due to shift work, repetitive tasks, noise and strict health and safety regulations.

Research into music increasing productivity and morale first started in the 1930s, and to date, much research since has shown a relationship between music and better mental health and efficiency in the workplace.

But the real driver for JLR was the voice of their workforce who overwhelmingly expressed that music would help their mental well-being and drive a happier working environment and culture, this was also reflected in JLR’s wellbeing survey.

Now it has launched a rollout of radios at its manufacturing facilities. Following two years of extensive research, testing and development, the radios were switched on at its Solihull plant in Birmingham. Halewood will follow shortly.

Matt Walker from the JLR manufacturing team, said: “The concept of the JLR radio project started two years ago when we began a test and research phase.

“We ran a number of trials and tests to ensure that health and safety, quality and productivity remained a top priority.

“Over 90% of employees told us (as part of the trials) that morale was up, work was much more enjoyable, and they’d seen an improvement in their wellbeing.”

JLR’s new workwear comes in 300 options- including a hijab option, maternity wear as well as temperature regulating clothing. This is being seen as a key initiative to transform the culture and create a more modern and inclusive workplace experience.

To ensure the workwear is truly inclusive, it was co-designed with workers from across JLR. Before the launch, people had an opportunity to trial and choose from the best and most comfortable designs.

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Kim Panton, manager of apparel design at JLR, added: “Inspiration for the design of the workwear came from a hunger from our colleagues to have workwear that mirrored the modern luxury cars that they build.

“We spoke to hundreds of colleagues from different faiths, backgrounds and of all abilities to ensure that the workwear options were designed with the diverse nature of our people in mind.”

JLR says sustainability was at the heart of the workwear project. It combines cotton with between 40% to 96% recycled polyester depending on the garment, alongside softshell padding made from recycled material.

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