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Productivity Statistics

Last updated: 22.09.2022
Author: Marija

While a lot of us are stuck in an office (or at home in front of a computer, post-pandemic) from 9 to 5, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re making the most of that time. How much of the time are we productive? And how does employee productivity (or lack thereof) affect a company’s bottom line? These essential productivity statistics will tell all about workers’ efficiency, how productive employees are on average, and the factors that determine whether they are working hard or hardly working. Read on! 

Productivity Statistics (Editor’s Choice)   

  • Office employees are productive for under three hours a day. (Apollo Technical)
  • Americans work 8.8 hours every day. (INC)
  • Freelancers have 36 productive hours a week. (Apollo Technical)
  • 91% of employees are daydreaming during meetings. (Apollo Technical)
  • 90-minute intervals of work followed by a short break are optimal for productivity. (Finances Online)
  • Friendships at work boost employee satisfaction by 50%. (Forbes)

General Productivity Stats  

1. The average American works 8.8 hours every day. 

At least in theory. In practice, a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that a pretty huge chunk of those near-nine hours is spent as follows: 

  • Reading the news – 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Using social media – 44 minutes
  • Chatting with co-workers – 40 minutes
  • Searching for new jobs – 26 minutes
  • Having smoke breaks – 23 minutes
  • Talking on the phone to partners or friends – 18 minutes
  • Making drinks – 17 minutes
  • Texting or messaging – 14 minutes
  • Eating snacks – 8 minutes
  • Preparing food – 7 minutes.

(INC)

2. Office employees are productive for less than three hours a day.

Given the above workplace productivity statistics, it’s hardly surprising that office workers are productive for a shocking two hours and 23 minutes daily. This means almost five and a half hours of non-work-related activity or inactivity daily. Employee engagement stats further place office employees among the most disengaged at work. 

(Apollo Technical)

3. Freelancers are productive for up to 36 hours each week.

The opposite of an average office worker is the freelancer. Since their earnings are directly related to the hours they put in, they are productive for almost a full 40 hours week, according to productivity stats. This translates to about seven hours of productive work a day, with better efficiency meaning more money. 

(Apollo Technical)

4. Working in 90 minutes intervals can help improve productivity. 

Working at hour and a half intervals could do wonders for productivity. Stats further show that focusing on the most difficult task of the day for about an hour or an hour and a half, and following it up with a short break could also prove beneficial productivity-wise. 

(Finances Online)

5. 91% of employees daydream in meetings.

Average employee productivity statistics show that the one thing that should raise engagement and productivity is in fact dragging it down considerably. Meetings show an astonishing lack of engagement and productivity. Here are the percentages of activities employees engage in during an average meeting:

  • 91% daydream during a meeting
  • 96% miss at least one obligatory meeting
  • 89% complain about the lack of organization 
  • 73% of people work on other stuff while attending a meeting
  • 50%  of workers consider meetings a waste of time
  • 39% admit to sometimes sleeping in meetings.

(Apollo Technical)

6. On average, employees attend 62 meetings every month.

Workplace productivity studies have shown that 40% of employees find it a great distraction when colleagues drop by for a quick unannounced meeting. Productivity statistics indicate that as many as 68% have lost valuable time due to poor organization and planning of the meetings they attended.

With the businesses going remote and teams being scattered across the globe it’s even harder to keep the meeting engagement high as many non-verbal cues are lost and there is the virtual fatigue that sets in after a certain number of hours in front of the screen.

(Finances Online)

7. The average worker gets interrupted every three minutes.

According to workplace productivity statistics, it takes up to 23 minutes to get focused again following an interruption. A study from the University of California meanwhile finds that every three minutes and five seconds something steals a worker’s attention. This implies that employees get work done for only three minutes out of every 26 minutes at the office.

(Apollo Technical)

8. 65% of employees are more productive in the workplace around the holidays.

The other 35% say that they feel less productive due to the end of the year’s increased workload and the stress of holiday shopping and preparations and the flu season, work productivity statistics indicate.

(Business2Community)

9. 37% of employees believe that a closed office boosts productivity. 

Employee efficiency sometimes hangs on the ability to isolate yourself from others while working. Another 23% of workers said partitioned cubicles would be a useful addition, while 19% prefer open-desk offices. Regardless of office layout preferences, up to 91% of people would be more efficient if their workspace was better organized. 

(Finances Online)

10. Workers spend 28% of the workday focused on distractions. 

Around 27% report feeling disorganized, and 61% are distracted by loud colleagues around them. Looking at productivity stats, the main distractions in the office are smartphones (50%), followed by gossip time (42%), and using the internet (39%). 

(Finances Online)

Top Workplace Distractions

11. 4% of organizations have difficulties fostering a productivity-focused mindset among workers.

The main issues which hinder productivity include the quality of work for about a third of organizations (33.1%), maintaining focus (27.7%), and communication within teams (24.6%), according to challenges to productivity statistics

(Finances Online)

12. High engagement boosts productivity by 17%.

Data conclusively shows that engagement translates into productivity. However, the lower you go down the corporate ladder, the less engaged employees become. The most engaged employees are managers and executives with 28%, professionals with 27%, service workers with 18%, agricultural workers with 18%, clerks and salespeople with 14%, and manufacturing employees with 12%. Using employee engagement software could boost engagement levels and by implication, productivity. 

(Finances Online)

Happiness And Productivity At Work Statistics 

13. Happy employees are up to 20% more productive.

Happy employees are more productive, it’s as simple as that. Happy workers are 20% more productive than unhappier ones, with this number spiking to as much as 37% when it comes to salespeople. 

(Forbes)

14. Friendships at work raise satisfaction by 50%.

Fostering friendships at work can be good for business, employee happiness statistics show.  Having a friend at work makes employees seven times more likely to feel engaged. It is also good for teamwork and a positive workplace environment. 

(Forbes)

15. People prefer to work alone 86% of the time.

It doesn’t matter if they are at home or the office, most people like to be alone when they work. Without colleagues to chat them up, people focus easier on the task at hand. At the same time, people crave interaction which is why stats also suggest that interactivity can raise work productivity by an amazing 89%. 

(Business2Community)

Statistics on Losses Related to Lack of Productivity

16. Over 500 million workdays are lost because of stress.

Stress and productivity statistics show that this costs companies $500 billion. The average loss of productivity due to fatigue meanwhile reaches $1,967 per employee per year. Then, anywhere from $483 to $605 billion a year is lost to employee disengagement. 

(Finances Online)

17. Facebook costs companies $28 billion every year.

Checking out Facebook pages leads to billion-dollar losses. The average worker spends 32% of their workday on this social media platform. Another big spender is email spam which costs companies around $21 billion in productivity. Fantasy football comes in third with $18.7 billion. More surprisingly, however, employees who change passwords frequently cost companies $16 billion every year.

(Finances Online)

18. Obesity and chronic health issues cost companies $150 billion per year.

Exercise and work productivity statistics show that fit employees are more productive. Health issues meanwhile result in lost productivity, revenue, paid sick leave, insurance, replacement, and training of replacement staff. Investing in prevention, wellness checks, and introducing bonuses for exercise and healthcare could cut some of the costs of poor health.

(Apollo Technical)

19. Insomnia costs employers $63.2 billion a year.

According to average worker productivity data by the CDC, over 30% of the US workforce aren’t sleeping enough. This manifests as presenteeism, being on the job but in a zombie-like state, and operating at the bare minimum, according to HR statistics. Also, every hour of interrupted sleep is linked to an added 8.4 minutes of online procrastination.

(The Wall Street Journal)

Wellbeing And Worker Productivity Statistics 

20. Up to 80% of workers need financial assistance.

When doing a survey, workers were required to express their concerns over the financial situation they are in, and out of 220 clerks, over 175 wished their employers provided them with financial assistance. Workers that are stressed out about their finances are less productive than those feeling secure. Employee retention statistics show it is not only money that employers can offer but also loan counseling and financial management counseling.

(Business2Community)

21. Good nutrition can raise work productivity by 25%.

Statistics on productivity in the workplace show that good nutrition boosts work performance. A productivity study by Go Remotely reached the conclusion that employees eating healthy food such as fruit and vegetables at least four days a week showed 25% more productivity than those who did not. This means that providing healthy snacks at the workplace pays off. 

(Business2Community)

22. 20% of employees took longer to complete a task during the Covid outbreak.

The pandemic has undoubtedly taken a toll on everyone’s both physical and mental health.  28.3% had difficulty concentrating, while 14.7% experienced difficulties in decision-making. 12.4% would leave challenging work for later, while 11.8% had a hard time multitasking and dealing with responsibilities. 

(Finances Online)

Working From Home Productivity Statistics 

23. Around 55.8% of home office staff reported the lack of social interaction as a productivity hurdle.

Just as in the case of an office, 53.7% of remote workers pointed to smartphones as the main distraction. As many as 30.4% blamed gaming for wasted time and reduced productivity.

(Finances Online)

24. Working from home increases productivity up to 77%.

30% of these did more work in less time while 24% did more work in the same amount of time. The most productive days of the week for those working from home are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and employees productivity is at its peak from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm, productivity statistics show. 

(Apollo Techincal)

25. Remote workers are 52% less likely to take time off.

If you aren’t seriously ill and working from home, you most likely won’t call in sick, raising the productivity of the company along the way. Stats also show that those that are granted even one day a week to work from home report a 24% higher job satisfaction.

(Apollo Technical)

Internet Usage At Work Statistics 

26. Up to 40% of internet usage in the workplace is not related to work.

Anywhere from 30% to 40% of what workers do online during the day is not work-related. The loss in productivity has a hefty price tag of $63 billion every year lost to using the internet for non-working purposes. One of the less known facts is that 70% of all internet porn traffic happens during 9-to-5 working hours. This amounts to one in five employees dedicating time to cybersex at work.

(SHRM)

27. 65% of employees admit to using the internet during their work hours for things unrelated to their job.

Even with the smartphones distracting the workforce productivity growth is around 1%. Technology and productivity statistics show an average worker still spends 13 hours per week checking their email. What’s more, they spend 20 hours online. Out of those, at least five are not related to work. Other studies meanwhile show that internet browsing could be refreshing provided that it does not take up more than 12% of work time. Short quick internet breaks can reset the mind without harming employees efficiency, improving concentration, and by implication, productivity.

(Current Ware, Finances Online)

28. Blocking specific websites is a measure used in 36% of cases to fight online procrastination at work. 

Companies often resort to using employee monitoring software to track the activities of the employees. Work statistics show that other things companies do to prevent distractions at work include blocking certain websites (36%) and monitoring internet usage (22%.

(Finances Online)

In Conclusion

The ability to perform well and do our best at work is related to the amount of stress and pressure employees are under. Productivity is at most risk when the workers are drained, tired, overwhelmed, and stressed. Of course, boredom and distractions affect engagement and, by extension, productivity, but productivity stats conclusively show that creating a workplace with little distractions and a psychologically safe environment where the worker’s basic needs are met is a recipe for increased personal and team productivity.

FAQs

How productive is the average worker?

The average worker is productive at under 60% on daily basis, with the exact percentage mostly contingent on the industry.

(Apollo Technical)

How many hours do employees actually work?

In the course of an 8-hour shift, workers on average spend four hours and 12 minutes actively working. Office workers are even less active, they work on average two hours and 23 minutes in the US. In the UK, the average percentage is slightly higher, two hours and 53 minutes, according to employee productivity statistics.

(Glamour, Zippia, Apollo Technical)

What is a good productivity percentage?

A good productivity percentage rule is to use 70% of working capacity to maintain optimal productivity. Another study shows that the ideal and most productive workday is six hours. Ideally, those six hours of work should be done in the morning as the focus drops in the afternoon and the decision-making declines as the day advances.

(Tech Target, You Matter)

What is the average productivity of an employee? 

The average productivity of an employee is 60% during one working day, productivity research shows. Office workers are far less productive, and research shows that their true productivity only lasts for only two hours and 23 minutes.

(Apollo Technical)

Which country has the highest productivity rate? 

Productivity statistics by country show that the nation with the highest productivity rate is Ireland (94.7%), followed by Germany (92.7%) and Indonesia with 92.5%. Mauritius with 91.1% and Argentina (90.8%) round out the top five. 

(Desk Time, Expert Market)

Which country has the lowest productivity rate in the world? 

The country with the lowest productivity in the world is Japan, oddly enough, with 41.61%. Then come Nepal (43.5%), Sweden (45.4%), followed by Slovakia (43.6%) and Israel (46.7%). 

(Desk Time)

How do you measure productivity?

Productivity statistics show that one way is by dividing the average output per period by the costs or the resources. After choosing the output you will measure — units made services offered, tasks completed, etc. — count in the hours of work, divide output by input, and have an assigned dollar value for the results.

(Indeed, Workflow Ma)

What are the key elements of productivity? 

The three main factors that influence productivity are the workers themselves, human capital, the work environment, workplace productivity, and the technology used. Workplace statistics show that the key elements of productivity also include efficiency, goal setting, innovation, knowledge, and motivation, among other things. 

(Medium, Time Doctor, Finances Online)

What are the different types of productivity? 

Productivity can be measured by looking at its various types and features and as a result, we can see the following types of productivity: 

  • Capital productivity — the relation of products or services to physical capital.
  • Material productivity — the ratio of products or services to materials. 
  • Labor productivity — this shows if labor is efficiently transforming into a product or service.
  • Total factor productivity — productivity statistics show that this type of productivity represents everything that capital, material, and labor productivity don’t cover. Knowledge, skills, organizational structures, returns to scale, and management tactics. Especially relevant in the service industries.

(MyVA360)

What is the difference between production and productivity? 

The word production refers to producing measurable goods, creating something, manufacturing from raw materials, or performing any actions which leave a product for use or to be offered to a customer. In short, it is the process of making something. Productivity on the other hand is a measure of how efficient the production process is. It shows the relation between the result of invested and gained per unit, according to productivity statistics

(Green Facts, JavaTpoint)

Sources: Apollo Technical, INC, Finances Online, Forbes, Business2Community, The Wall Street Journal, Apollo Techincal, SHRM, Current Ware, Glamour, Zippia, Tech Target, You Matter, Desk Time, Expert Market, Indeed, Workflow Ma, Medium, Time Doctor, MyVA360, Green Facts, JavaTpoint