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10 Workplace Productivity Statistics Leaders Should Know

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Check out the latest workplace productivity statistics, including key findings and advice from the ActivTrak Productivity Lab.

At ActivTrak, we know the first step to optimizing your organization‘s work environment — from boosting productivity levels to tackling burnout — is getting a solid read on the average employee‘s workday. Employee productivity statistics are great insights for managers who want to unlock a healthier, more productive workplace. By keeping a pulse on productivity levels and other trends related to job satisfaction, wellness, and workplace stress — managers are better equipped to support their employees and help them work wiser. That’s why the ActivTrak Productivity Lab spent two years collecting data from over 50,000 employees to produce our 2022 State of the Workforce report. Our findings deliver valuable insights into how employees work in the post-pandemic world.

This article highlights some of our main findings and other essential workplace productivity statistics for managers and business leaders to consider as they think about the best workday arrangements for their employees. To learn more and to get advice on ways to implement these insights, check out our complete 2022 State of the Workforce Report and our ActivTrak Action Companion Guides to get actionable guidance based on these insights.


What do we mean when we talk about employee productivity?

Employee productivity is a measure of how much valuable work a person does for their company within a given period. Businesses need productive employees to succeed, but making them work more won‘t necessarily boost productivity. In fact, it will only lead to higher levels of workplace stress and absenteeism and lower levels of job satisfaction. That translates into productivity losses instead of gains.

What can you do to boost productivity rates? It starts with understanding what data can tell us about the current state of employee productivity, the factors that impact productivity, and what changes workers believe could lead to a productivity increase. The following are some of the workplace productivity statistics that matter most.


    The latest statistics on employee productivity in the workplace

    1. Collaboration tools are the number one source of focus disruptions, distracting average workers 70 times per day

    Source: ActivTrak Productivity Lab

    While remote work removed some of the distractions typically associated with open offices, it comes with its own distractions. Collaboration tools and apps are the number one source of focus disruptions for remote employees, causing 21% of all distractions. It’s not just social media apps like Facebook and Linkedin that make employees lose focus. Tools that enable flexible work environments to exist in the first place, like Slack and other messaging apps, can also be at the root of the problem. These apps distract the average worker 70 times per day with alerts to respond to messages, reply to emails, or engage in meetings.

    In the modern workplace, there’s no way to eliminate distractions completely. Still, this research indicates that it might be time for decision-making leaders to reevaluate their expectations around communication tool response times, meetings and more. After all, focus time directly correlates with labor productivity, and multitasking is rarely an effective way of getting high-quality work done.

     

    2. Disengaged employees cost the United States $483 to $605 billion each year in lost work productivity

    Source: Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report

    Engaged employees are a business’s most valuable asset. In fact, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, organizations with higher employee engagement have 17% higher productivity. While that’s always been clear to many in decision-making positions, the numbers are more jarring than many people realize.

    Disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy $483 to $605 billion yearly due to productivity losses. Increasing employee engagement should be a top priority for any organization, but determining what’s causing disengagement — or even which specific employees are disengaged — can be challenging.

    At ActivTrak, we want to ensure every employee can work to the best of their abilities. That’s why we put together an employee engagement guide. Check out these employee engagement best practices to better understand the value of engaged employees and get tips on creating a work environment that promotes engagement and wellness for in-office and remote employees alike.

     

    3. Workers achieve higher productivity levels in fewer hours

    Source: ActivTrak Productivity Lab

    ActivTrak’s Productivity Lab found that even though workers spent a similar amount of time at their screens in 2020 and 2021, employees increased their productive time by 40% in 2021. Employees went from an average of 4:37 to 6:28 productive work hours. This considerable shift can be attributed to employees adapting to the new way of working in a post-pandemic world, namely adjusting to remote work, creating spaces at home that boost productivity, and embracing more flexible work hours.

     

    4. The most productive employees follow routines no matter their work environment

    Source: ActivTrak Productivity Lab

    The ActivTrak Productivity Lab found that 70% of employees started their workday within the same two-hour window each day. Those who began their workday within the same window were an entire hour (18%) more productive than their peers who varied their start times across a three-hour window.

     

    5. Employees with healthy habits rarely deviate for more than two days

    Source: ActivTrak Productivity Lab

    Sticking to a routine is one of the healthy habits that can make the average worker more productive. Research shows employees with healthy work habits spend a maximum of two days in a row out of sync with their regular routine before returning to their more typical behavior.

    At the same time, workers who spent more of the year over-utilized (a state that typically leads to burnout, low job satisfaction and retention issues) often experienced over-utilization for six days in a row before reverting to a healthier state. This highlights how important it is to help employees develop positive work habits and promote a healthy work-life balance to improve wellness.

     

    6. Employees reduced their weekend working hours, indicating possible work-life balance improvements

    Source: ActivTrak Productivity Lab

    Working beyond the typical eight-hour workday has always been a concern for the well-being of office workers and, now, remote employees. With remote work, in particular, it’s very easy for the workday to bleed into personal time. Fortunately, there are signs this may be changing, at least to an extent.

    The ActivTrak Productivity Lab found an 11% decrease in consistent weekend work activity, from 14% of employees working 2+ hours for 4+ consecutive weekends in 2020 to only 3% in 2021. These productivity statistics show that employees take their work-life balance seriously and recognize that consistently working on weekends can increase workplace stress, reduce job satisfaction, and lead to burnout.

     

    7. 34% of employees are over-utilized, sparking concern over wellness and retention

    Source: ActivTrak Productivity Lab

    Ideally, 80% of an organization‘s employees have a manageable workload and fall into the category of “healthy.“ Unfortunately, recent research indicates that only 62% of employees currently work at healthy levels, with 34% being “over-utilized” and the remaining 4% being “underutilized.” It might be time to intervene and rebalance employee workloads across organizations.

    However, knowing when, where and how to intervene can be difficult. Transparent and open data collection that tracks relevant worker productivity metrics offers insights into which remote workers and office workers are overworked. That information can be used to adjust workflow, work hours and more.

     

    8. Workers at greatest risk of burnout spend over 75% of the year in an over-utilized state

    Source: ActivTrak Productivity Lab

    Unsurprisingly, over-utilized employees spend 79% of their days working above the healthy zone. Not only does this correlate with high rates of burnout, but it can also compromise performance or the quality of work.

    Leadership must identify overworked employees and help them re-balance their working habits, paying particular attention to ineffective communication and complicated workflows.

     

    9. 95% of human resources leaders say burnout is “sabotaging workforce retention”

    Source: Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace

    Burnout has always been an issue in the workforce, but the rise of remote work and flexible work models has made it easier for the average employee to lose sight of a healthy work-life balance. Burnout leads to higher workplace stress levels, which can negatively impact employee mental health, wellness, job satisfaction and productivity rates. All of these factors can decrease retention.

    Fortunately, there are ways to address burnout and keep valuable employees at your company, but they all involve proactive intervention.

     

    10. 73% of employees experience focus sessions in only 0-20 minute increments

    Source: ActivTrak Productivity Lab

    Although “deep work” is classified as 60 minutes of uninterrupted focus, the latest statistics on productivity in the workplace show that the average worker rarely (if ever!) experiences a focus session that long. Only 3% of employees have focus sessions longer than 50 minutes. Most sessions last anywhere from 0-20 minutes, with the average lasting only 14 minutes.

    While the 60-minute ideal may be unrealistic given the number of distractions facing the average employee today, it’s worthwhile to set attainable goals to increase focus sessions for the average worker and boost average productivity.

     

    11. Once focus is interrupted, it takes an average of 23 minutes, 15 seconds to get cack on track

    Source: The Cost of Interrupted Work: More Speed and Stress

    The typical focus session lasts 1420 minutes, but it takes far longer for the average employee to get back on track after being distracted. On average, an employee takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to regain focus. This statistic is concerning given that workers get interrupted approximately every three minutes and five seconds.


    Boost workplace productivity with ActivTrak

    The workplace productivity statistics above are an excellent starting point, but you‘ll need to dig deeper to spark real change in your organization to transform productivity levels. After all, every organization is different and the only way to know where yours falls is to analyze and understand your baseline. Employee productivity data gathered openly and transparently is key to helping both in-office and remote employees work wiser.

    Unlike traditional employee productivity solutions tracking activity to see who works at what times, we never collect employee data without a clear business goal. Violating employee privacy by relying on video surveillance, keystroke logging or selective monitoring has never been part of the ActivTrak mission. Instead, our solutions gather user activity data straight from the source to deliver actionable insights designed to help boost productivity and with employee well-being in mind.

    With ActivTrak’s workforce analytics solution, employers can better assess productivity levels and identify ways to improve average productivity, boost retention, increase job satisfaction, and support a healthy work-life balance for all employees.

    The ActivTrak approach to workplace productivity improvement is collaborative. Employees have access to their productivity stats so they take an active role in optimizing their work habits and have open discussions with their managers about next steps. By involving employees in workplace productivity strategies, you build trust and communicate to your employees that insight, not oversight, is your top priority. With this insight, employees and managers are empowered to have collaborative discussions about how to work wiser, and in turn, increase overall productivity, engagement and satisfaction. Take a modern approach to productivity management by adding ActivTrak to your toolkit.

    Interested in learning more? Download the ActivTrak 2022 State of the Workplace report and ActivTrak’s 2022 Action Companion Guides today!

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