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Workforce Productivity Analytics 101: Everything You Need to Know

Workforce productivity analytics solutions leverage digital work activity data to provide unbiased insight into employee performance, productivity, and engagement.


By ActivTrak

A person working on their laptop, which is showing remote workforce management reports from ActivTrak.

Workforce productivity analytics is a branch of the broader workforce analytics category. While workforce analytics traditionally refers to solutions that help organizations measure employee data for workforce planning, talent management, performance, and engagement, workforce productivity analytics focuses more specifically on data related to employee, team and organizational productivity management, intended to be used by all departments. 

Workforce productivity analytics solutions like ActivTrak collect and analyze digital work activity data to help organizations understand productivity drivers like time management, technology usage, focus time, collaboration, multi-tasking and more. Gaining visibility into these productivity drivers, with the ability to view trends, benchmarks, summaries and team comparisons, can provide valuable insights to help organizations improve business outcomes and to help employees and teams to work wiser.

How Do I Use Productivity Analytics Data?

Today’s competitive business climate demands a new approach to workforce management, leveraging data-driven solutions that provide unbiased insight into employee performance, productivity, and engagement. It’s now a competitive advantage for organizations to measure and analyze productivity to support hybrid or remote work arrangements, identify ways to build more focus time into daily routines, and help everyone make the best use of their most important resource - time. 

At ActivTrak, we suggest three ways organizations can start to embrace workforce productivity analytics: 

  • Gain a consistent view of productivity across teams
  • Benchmark top performers’ activities and create baselines
  • Assess workload balance and burnout risk

Gain a consistent view of productivity across teams

Without a workforce productivity analytics solution, perceptions of individual or team productivity are incomplete, based largely on what time individuals arrived at or left the office, or appeared online in the company messaging app. These perceptions are also highly subjective, often based on other factors completely irrelevant to actual productivity.

With the ability to gather productivity data continuously, and consistently across teams, organizations gain an objective view of productivity, based on actual data vs. subjective manager perception. So, you can ensure your most productive team members are recognized for their efforts, and provide coaching and training to those who have room to improve.

ActivTrak dashboard showing productivity analytics and efficiency comparisons.
ActivTrak dashboard showing productivity summaries and comparisons.

Benchmark top performers’ activities and create baselines

Organizations can also use workforce productivity analytics to identify work patterns and habits of top performers and teams, and the conditions that enable top performance. See which applications are being used, where there are process bottlenecks and how much time is split between focus and collaboration.

Managers can use this data to coach employees on top productive activities and train others to mirror some of these high performance techniques. ActivTrak provides summaries of top performances along with team averages so managers and individuals can better understand their own productivity trends and adopt best practices to improve.

ActivTrak dashboard showing average values for all users in the team.

Assess workload balance and burnout risk

According to a recent study by Gallup, 28% of employees surveyed said they were burned out “very often” or “always” at work. This same study found that employees who frequently experience burnout are 63% more likely to take a sick day, 23% more likely to visit the emergency room, and 2.6x as likely to be actively seeking a different job.

While burnout typically stems from multiple causes, heavy workloads sustained over a significant period of time are often a significant contributing factor. Quantitative productivity data from a platform like ActivTrak can be a valuable asset for managers to keep a pulse on burnout risk, understand if workloads can be better balanced, and help support healthy work habits.  

ActivTrak productivity analytics dashboard highlighting employees who are working excessive hours and may be at risk of burnout.
ActivTrak utilization summary, highlighting employees who are working excessive hours and may be at risk of burnout.

To prevent employee burnout, managers may need to advocate for additional resources, changes in deadlines or shifts in workloads. Being able to access actual productivity data, gathered in a way that is consistent with other teams and departments, can help managers provide the support their teams need to avoid burnout.

Bringing it all together

Due to the rise in remote work, rapidly changing global business demands, and pressures on operating budgets, productivity measurement solutions have become a critical component to business continuity and success. Having clear visibility into how employees and teams get work done - whether in-office or remote - is key to improving productivity and efficiency. Workforce productivity analytics platforms provide real data so you can easily establish productivity benchmarks, track progress to goals, drive better business outcomes, and support healthy work habits.

Most experts recommend being transparent with employees when implementing a workforce productivity analytics platform so that everyone understands how they can benefit, and how they can play a role in building a culture of continuous productivity improvement. Refer to this blog post for guidance on how to get started, along with a set of email and presentation templates to help set the right tone and address questions that employees are likely to have.

About ActivTrak

ActivTrak helps companies unlock productivity potential. Our award-winning workforce analytics and productivity management software provides expert insights that empower people, optimize processes, and maximize technology. Additionally, with data sourced from more than 9,500 customers and over 450,000 users, ActivTrak’s Workforce Productivity Lab is a global center for ground-breaking research and expertise that helps companies embrace and embody the future of work. 

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