Increasing workforce productivity has been the priority of many organizations and the subject of several hours of company talks. Many, if not all, business leaders and managers today believe that there’s a secret formula to activate employee efficiency.
However, there’s no such thing as a secret formula. What managers need to remember is that each employee is unique.
Training your employees to be effective isn’t as easy as teaching a student Kung Fu. General productivity statistics cite that employees are emotionally dependent. They respond differently to workplace environments, policies, and work relationships.
Even within the same company and under the same policies and work benefits, you can’t expect all of your employees to have the same productivity level.
So, to better understand what drives people to be productive at work, let’s look into a few facts that influence performance.
General Productivity Stats to Help Realize your Performance Goals
1. If workers are happy, they are 13% more productive.
(University of Oxford)
Employee happiness has been an essential metric in different studies on productivity.
A report on happiness and productivity at work statistics by Oxford University concluded that happy workers are 13% more productive, according to a study performed on 1,800 call center sales workers.
2. On average, the total unproductive time for remote workers is 27 minutes versus 37 minutes for in-office workers.
If you thought in-office employees would be more productive, then some working-from-home productivity statistics will probably change your mind.
A survey that involved 1,004 full-time employees, among which 505 were remote workers, showed that teleworkers were more productive than in-office workers.
On average, remote workers are busy 21.9 working days per month, while office-based employees only work 20.5 days. Also, remote employees stay idle for only 27 minutes on average versus in-office workers’ 37 minutes.
Furthermore, remote staff is healthier, according to the exercise and work productivity statistics in this same survey. On a weekly basis, remote workers engage in 25 more minutes of exercise overall.
3. Nearly 3 out of 4 workers become more productive once distractions are reduced.
Not all employees can cut through the noise and still be productive in the workplace. Most need a quiet environment to think and come up with ideas. At-work distractions don’t only lead to underperformance for many employees, but also spoil collaboration opportunities.
The key is finding a balance. A few distractions here and there are sufficient to keep enthusiasm at work, but there’ll be times when they take away from good work.
4. Out of eight hours, the average office worker is productive in the workplace for two hours and 53 minutes.
A total of 1,989 full-time in-office workers were asked about their online habits and work behavior. The result was shocking!
Instead of eight hours, the average office worker was only productive for almost three hours. Moreover, workers admitted to having difficulty in improving workplace productivity because of distractions. The top at-work distractions they felt guilty of were checking social media (47%) and reading news sites (45%).
5. Small businesses that embrace Unified Communications experience a 52% increase in workplace productivity.
(Sangoma, UC Today)
What are Unified Communications? It’s a business system that integrates various communication tools into one with the ultimate goal to increase workplace efficiency.
Unlike a traditional phone system that allows workers to make and receive calls only, UC, which is usually a cloud-hosted system, combines traditional phone service, SMS, video conferencing, team messaging, and other tools into one platform. Avaya is an example of a company that offers UC.
Overall, technology and productivity statistics reveal that more and more businesses are integrating UC, mainly because this system helps manage the business and boost productivity.
6. The top productivity driver is workforce experience, according to 92% of workers.
Typically, if productivity is low, leaders look at employee productivity reports. Most believe that engagement is the hidden element to fire up productivity. However, according to recent studies, it’s not engagement but workforce experience that propels people to be productive.
Workforce experience refers to the close connection between employees and leaders in an organization. It involves providing the best working experience and conditions to workers, thus resulting in the best possible productivity in the workplace.
Enhancing internal communication, acting on employee feedback, and investing in employees’ wellness are some of the ways to give a positive workforce experience.
7. The total time spent in unproductive meetings is 31 hours per month.
Do you attend organization meetings often? Do you think it makes you more productive or not?
Meeting productivity statistics tell us that many company meetings shouldn’t have happened in the first place. While meetings make employees feel important and included, sadly, not all gatherings have a positive productivity outcome.
According to Doodle, unnecessary and canceled meetings result in 68% of American workers losing time every week; time that could’ve been spent on more productive activities.
So, if you think you’re spending way too much time on needless meetings, stop it!
Workplace Productivity Statistics You Need to Know
Let’s check out some fascinating workplace productivity stats.
8. 7 out of 10 employees are more productive when they listen to music.
Some undeniably impressive productivity statistics in the workplace refer to using music to raise productivity.
Robert Half, a global HR consulting company, surveyed the effect of music on productivity by interviewing more than 1,000 employees, only to reveal that music boosted work productivity to some degree for seven out of ten people.
When participants in workplace productivity studies were asked if their employers allowed them to listen to music while at work, 82% said yes, with 38% among them saying yes but with some restrictions.
So, next time you don’t feel like working, perhaps a few upbeat songs can pump some inspiration up to get you moving.
9. According to productivity stats, 51% of employees say that working in an extremely cold office impacts productivity, while 67% say the same for when it’s too warm.
(Career Builder, US Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Have you ever argued with a coworker about office temperature? If so, you’re not alone! Productivity statistics reveal that conflicts about which temperature is considered comfortable are common, as 15% of workers have argued about it.
In an online survey conducted among 1,012 workers, 51% say a very low office temperature affects their productivity. Similar productivity results show that 67% of workers can’t be productive if the office temp is too high.
There isn’t any standard temperature level, but the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends a temp around 68°F to 76°F.
10. According to work productivity statistics, 71% of companies find it challenging to adopt remote work because they struggle to maintain productivity and communication.
Remote work has quickly become the new norm after the coronavirus pandemic first hit the world. But this sudden shift doesn’t seem favorable for most companies.
Coincidentally, a recent survey from Breeze found that 72% of Americans who worked from home in 2020 due to pandemic plan to continue doing so at least some of the time moving forward.
Workplace statistics claim that 71% of businesses struggle to transition to remote work. Depending on other external factors, such as a non-conducive remote work environment, telework may put businesses at a disadvantage because it may affect a worker’s productivity.
11. In an open office environment, the biggest blow for workplace efficiency is a loud coworker according to 48% of employees.
Poly’s research on distractions, office dynamics, and benefits that involved 5,150 respondents revealed that a loud colleague was their biggest distraction. Some 48% say it impacts their focus on tasks, which lowers workplace efficiency.
Currently, most organizations have diverse workplaces, sometimes with five generations working together in one company. For business leaders, handling this kind of work environment isn’t easy.
The best thing to do is find a balance point where different generations and multiple perspectives can co-exist in harmony, thus safeguarding workplace productivity.
12. Research into productivity statistics found that as soon as staff transitioned to work-from-anywhere, they became 4.4% more productive.
(Harvard Business Review)
Harvard conducted a study on the impact of work-from-anywhere setting to get a better understanding of productivity in the workplace. The researchers discovered a 4.4% increase in productivity for those allowed to work from anywhere.
The work-from-anywhere program allows its staff to live anywhere in the US while remaining regular employees. As soon as work-from-home employees moved to the work-from-anywhere program, they were more efficient.
13. In an inclusive workplace, 73% of employees are more willing to do their best in their jobs.
One of the managers’ most significant struggles is to motivate their staff to do well at work. These productivity statistics reveal that the best method to do this is to tap on their employees’ emotions.
If managers can make employees feel they have a voice, that they’re being heard, and that their opinions matter, workers would feel a sense of belongingness. This kind of emotion is healthy, and it’s what inspires employees to do their job beyond what’s expected of them.
Employee Productivity Statistics to Help You Understand Your Workforce
You’ve heard this before, but we’ll repeat it: the workforce is the most crucial business resource. So, taking care of your workers is of vital importance. Here are some productivity stats to help you understand your employees.
14. Depression and anxiety disorders among workers lead to lost productivity that costs an estimated $1 trillion annually.
Workplace statistics reveal that an estimated 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression and anxiety. While several factors stress people out, a hostile workplace is one of the primary triggering factors.
Employees deal with numerous stress aggravators related to work, like heavy workload, tight deadlines, and long working hours. When they surpass their stress level limit, it affects their productivity.
These are critical worker productivity statistics you should know to understand the different challenges employees face. So, do your best to foster a positive workplace, and allow employees to take a break when necessary.
15. The primary cause of stress for 46% of employees is finances.
Money issues top the list of factors that trigger stress.
These productivity stats prove that even personal financial problems affect productivity. Employees find it hard to focus at work if they have bills and debts at the back of their minds. This causes work productivity to decline and results in losses for companies.
16. Personal financial issues lead to 47% of workers either occasionally skipping work or reducing workplace productivity.
Financial issues are responsible for severe emotional and mental burdens, but they don’t stop there. They also have physical consequences, which become apparent in a person’s work behavior.
Work productivity statistics reveal that 47% of workers skip work now and again because of financial issues, which obviously impacts productivity.
17. In just three decades, employee stress levels have risen by almost 20%.
Employee motivation statistics show that stress levels have shot up in just a short period. When workers are stressed, they tend to skip work and reduce their productivity.
Would you believe that one of the reasons for their stress is losing jobs to machine intelligence? It’s crazy, but we need to acknowledge that machines are a huge help. Still, there are jobs that people can do more effectively than machines. So, maybe, it’ll take a thousand more years before AI completely takes over.
18. 19% of US workers are bullied at work, which significantly impacts their ability to be productive.
(Workplace Bullying Institute)
Efficiency and productivity in the workplace have always been discussed in the same breath as distractions and communication. But the spotlight has been shining on the subject of bullying for a while now: at school, public places, and yes, even in workplaces.
Despite people being more open-minded and educated now than in the past, many Americans still experience harassment at work. Needless to say that an organization that tolerates bullying at work is viewed negatively by the public.
19. Employee motivation statistics show that 85% of workers are not engaged at work or are actively disengaged.
The State of the Global Workplace report shows that only 15% of employees are psychologically invested in their jobs. The rest put a little effort toward working or are completely dissatisfied at their workplace.
The economic impact of having habitually lazy workers is enormous and equates to approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity. Motivated employees are more productive, statistics show.
20. Over one-third of workers reveal they can only stay productive for less than 30 hours each week.
One of the most intriguing productivity facts references a study called The Changing Face of HR. According to this study, full-time workers couldn’t remain productive for 40 hours straight per week.
In every three employees, one can do above average work, but for less than 30 hours weekly. This means employees may go to work and get paid, but they aren’t always helpful. This is why companies’ productivity rate remains very low sometimes.
Many workplace productivity studies try to find the secret or ultimate hack to productivity. However, it’s evident from the statistics that there isn’t one.
That’s because people have a unique degree of mental ability, potential, emotion, and response to work conditions. In short, every worker is unique.
The workplace statistics are clear on one thing: what productivity strategies work for one person may not work for another. Moreover, leaders need to realize that it takes more than monetary comfort to motivate people to be productive.
Creating a positive culture, building a good leader–employee relationship, recognition, teamwork, and empowerment are crucial in cultivating employee happiness and ensuring workplace productivity.
Why is productivity important in the workplace?
The primary goal of every business is to make a profit. To maximize profit, employees can contribute by completing tasks quickly or producing more output in as little time as possible.
Productivity makes a difference in the workplace because it helps reduce operational costs and allows for a business to run at maximum efficiency in the workplace.
For example, if you assign an employee a series of tasks for the next four hours and they finish within three hours, you can assign more tasks. Similarly, if you work with a freelancer, you’ll pay one hour less for the service.
What makes a workplace positive and productive?
Productivity trends specify that it boils down to fostering a healthy and employee-centered workplace. The workforce is the most critical asset of any business, so it makes sense to take care of your employees and make sure they’re happy.
Recognize your staff’s efforts, ask for feedback, and act on it. Give your employees a platform to express their opinions.
Happiness and productivity at work statistics leave no room for doubts: if your employees are happy, they do very well at work. A good employee–leader relationship creates a positive workplace, which translates into productivity.
What is the average productivity of an employee?
The average employee can only stay productive for two hours and 53 minutes during an entire 8-hour workday.
According to wasting-time-at-work-statistics, an astonishing five hours is spent on at-work distractions. These include checking social media, reading irrelevant content, and other non-work-related activities.
How do you measure productivity?
A simple way to calculate the productivity in the workplace is to divide the total output by the measure of inputs used in making the product or service (Productivity = total output ÷ total input).
However, each organization has a different focus and structure, so methods in computing productivity may vary. Some may be a lot more complex, for instance.
Which country has the lowest productivity rate in the world?
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recorded that Denmark has the lowest work hours per year, totaling 1,380 hours. Looking at the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per hour worked or the measure of labor productivity per labor hour, another productivity statistics by country showed that South Africa and Mexico had the lowest value; $20 labor productivity per hour for 2019.
Does working more actually reduce productivity?
This is perhaps the million-dollar question in the working hours vs productivity debate.
A study from Stanford University states that productivity sharply drops when a worker renders 50 hours of labor per week. The maximum time an individual can work without being productive is 55 hours. Beyond this point, work hours become entirely pointless.
Multitasking productivity statistics are surprising: an employee who works 70 hours weekly has the same output amount as an employee who works 55 hours. Therefore, working more isn’t ideal since it reduces productivity.
Does a shorter work week increase productivity?
Absolutely yes! Several organizations experimented on this to prove if a shorter workweek could increase productivity. According to workplace productivity statistics 2019, a shorter workweek does indeed increase productivity.
Employees of Microsoft Japan were given five Fridays off to meet the 4-day workweek for an experiment. The result was astonishing! With fewer working days, employees were 39.9% more productive. On top of this, the company saved 23% of electricity costs.
The same workplace efficiency experiment was put to trial for almost 250 employees by Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand company, from March to April 2018. The outcome was the same. Staff was less stressed, so their productivity increased.
Where is labor productivity highest?
Some fascinating productivity statistics by OECD revealed that Ireland had the highest GDP per hour worked last year, valued at $103. On the other hand, Mexico had the most prolonged hours worked per year in 2019, totaling 2,137 hours.
3. Career Builder
6. Harvard Business Review
7. Korn Ferry
11. Robert Half
12. Sage People
16. UC Today
17. University of Oxford
18. Voucher Cloud
20. Workplace Bullying Institute