Workplace productivity statistics for 2022

Did you know that 71% of people feel more productive while they listen to music? Or that only 7% of workers consider themselves productive during official work hours? See what numbers can tell us about productivity and what we can do to improve it.

Compelling productivity statistics for 2022 illustration

What is a good productivity percentage?

Employee productivity plays a crucial role in the overall success of any company. Apart from productivity, efficiency is another important factor when it comes to employee performance.

We should also point out the difference between productivity and efficiency, as they are sometimes used interchangeably.

Productivity reflects the quantity of work produced/completed, while efficiency refers to the quality of that work.

For example, a content writer writes 1,000 words per 8 hours — this is how productive that content writer is.

On the other hand, efficiency means completing the same task with fewer resources. In this case, that would be writing 1,000 words in less time — for instance, in 4 hours.

Productivity vs efficiency: what is the difference and why it matters

Now, if you’re wondering what a good productivity percentage is, some resources claim it’s between 70 and 75%.

In other words, a good productivity percentage means that workers spend:

So, how exactly can you stay productive?

And, what are the key factors that increase productivity?

Let’s find out in the following lines.

What increases productivity — statistics

What increases productivity?

Well, a great start includes the following:

Another equally relevant category refers to the objective conditions in our surroundings, and, if possible, making those conditions optimal for productivity.

We're referring to:

Some other secrets to increasing productivity are specifically work-related, and specific methods and strategies can be applied to achieve great results.

What increases productivity graphic

A healthy life is a great start to increasing productivity

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle positively impacts every aspect of our lives — especially our cognitive capabilities.

There's an abundance of obvious reasons why everyone should strive to be fit and healthy, starting with getting the most out of our bodies in terms of longevity.

Some other no-brainers include:

Let's see how all that affects our productivity levels.

Adequate nutrition boosts productivity levels by 25%

We've all seen a variety of popular commercials for Snickers candy bars with a campaign based on the saying "You're not you when you're hungry." That's exactly what happens when we're hungry — because our body needs different kinds of nutrients to properly function.

Now, while candy bars are not a perfect example of adequate nutrition, this specific slogan is surely on point.

Proper intake of vitamins and minerals matters for our energy levels. So, if one wants to achieve maximum-quality performance, they need to intake the right amount of right food at the right time.

Creating a healthy diet plan is vital to our energy levels — so there's a direct correlation between what we eat to how we perform at work. That's why you should always plan and schedule your meals, even snacks.

According to the so-called "productivity diet", a compilation of various research results by HubSpot, employees with healthy and balanced diets, in general, have 25% better overall performance.

Similarly, employee productivity statistics show that workers who eat fruits and vegetables at least 4 times a week are 20% more likely to be productive compared to the ones who don't.

As little as 30 minutes of exercising improves one's focus

Another health-related factor that can have a major impact on our productivity rates is how we feel in our bodies.

When we're uncomfortable in any way — for example, when our back is hurting — it is much harder to concentrate, and productivity levels drop.

So when we regularly exercise, we are making ourselves more comfortable in our bodies and more alert, for several reasons.

The first and the most obvious reason is that our body pumps more blood to our brain, and that increases our cognitive performance.

Moreover, exercise is an amazing way to release stress, as two vital types of neurotransmitters — serotonin and endorphins — are released during the process. Serotonin stimulates our mood and emotions in a way that makes us able to constructively deal with stressful situations.

The most important thing is to exercise regularly — so make a daily habit out of it.

Physical activity guidelines show that experts recommend exercising at least half an hour 5 days a week.

And, as per the aforementioned Hubspot study, employees who regularly exercise were 27% less absent from work.


Well, exercise and workplace productivity statistics further indicate that active people have better immunity and thus lower risk of various diseases (from the common cold to Type 2 diabetes) — resulting in fewer sick days.

10 Productivity exercises for body and mind

A creative approach to achieving focus increases productivity

It's exactly like one of the greatest minds of all time, Albert Einstein, once said — "Creativity is intelligence having fun."

Creative people are better problem solvers, as they think out of the box.

They are also more easily motivated since a creative approach to any problem or task makes it infinitely more interesting.

Furthermore, creative thinking makes us more mentally active, often in a non-typical way.

Below are several creative solutions which help people boost their productivity levels.

71% of people are more productive when they listen to music

We're not talking about the commonly mentioned theory of the Mozart effect, originally published in 1993.

To explain, the authors of that paper argue that a specific type of IQ — spatial-temporal — increases after listening to Mozart's sonata for two pianos (K448) for 10 minutes.

However, the role of music may also be about increasing our energy levels, as well as decreasing environmental noise. Most of the time, people will be more productive if they tune out the surrounding noise with the help of their favorite playlist.

Accountemps conducted a study on the subject, mentioned in the PR Newswire report, — the results indicate that only 1% of respondents don't feel productive when there is some background music.

Here's what other respondents said about music in terms of their productivity:

There are some differences in the age category regarding the positive impact of music — here are the percentages of those who enjoy listening to music while working:

How music affects productivity – both positively and negatively

We have to mention another relevant factor — loudness.

The role of music here is not to fully attract our attention.

In the case of trying to better concentrate on work, music is only meant to cover environmental sounds because our brain connects those with stress.

Gamification of tasks makes 89% of workers more productive

Most people will try to find a way to make their work interesting and fun, especially when dealing with repetitive tasks.

This is only natural, as our attention span is shorter and our ability to focus lower if we consider a task to be boring.

Gamification may be the solution. The concept refers to the application of game-like rules and elements to non-game tasks.

The desired result is to make work-related tasks more enjoyable and engaging, as well as provide real-time feedback to employees.

According to productivity statistics found on Statista, 89% of the respondents agree that making work in general, as well as individual tasks, more game-like, makes people more productive.

Another study shows that employees enjoy game-based learning — 30% of respondents find game-based learning captivating.

According to the same survey, some US companies even organize training programs with gaming elements. When it comes to employees who attend such programs — 83% of them feel motivated to work.

Also, some people just thrive in a competitive environment — and, a gaming approach to work tasks can be seen as competitive, if more people from the team are involved.

To add to the fact, there are 3.243 billion active video gamers worldwide.

Do you know what else confirms the beneficial effects of gamification on productivity?

It's Google's approach when there's no Internet connection available — instead of just letting us idly wait for the connection to come back, in 2014, Google introduced a fun game for its users. It's a simple one, resembling Super Mario's basic moves with arrows, with the T-Rex in the main role.

As you can see from the data above, gamification within the corporate strategy is proven to be an amazing method for boosting employees' morale, engagement, and productivity rates.

Effort must be made to engage 89% of employees

As per the latest Gallup study, 21% of employees are engaged at work. The same study reveals that there’s a connection between engagement and performance outcomes, such as:

In addition, low engagement has negative effects on the global economy — thus low engagement costs companies $7.8 trillion.

But, what does being "engaged at work" even mean?

Well, simply put, it means being enthusiastic and passionate about your job and further being psychologically attached to the company.

The Society for Human Resources Management relates the term to the extent an individual employee is committed and connected to the organization that employs them.

When a person is actively engaged, their focus is much better, and there's less room for distractions.

Statistics on the right technology for a productive workflow

Technology and AI developments have had a major impact on workplace efficiency in many industries. Usage of software:

Here's what you need to know about the statistics on achieving productivity with technology.

Tracking software increases productivity by 47%

Time tracking tools are a modern and improved version of writing your schedule in a planner. People often don't fully grasp the importance of time management — and a whopping 82% don't have any system for getting the most of their time.

To achieve work-life balance, one must understand how much time they need for a certain task. That's where a time tracker like Clockify can jump in and help you understand your habits, performance, and productivity level, all in order to improve.

After all, productivity statistics from a Forbes article point to a 47% increase in productivity levels among California-based employees who use time tracking software.

What happens when we fail to track our time properly?

As we can learn from a study found on FinancesOnline:

The same survey mentions that one company managed to save more than $22,000 per year by using time tracking software.

We ought to understand just how limited the resource of time is and allocate our daily, weekly, and monthly tasks in accordance.

What decreases productivity — statistics

Many factors can negatively impact one's productivity levels.

It's essential to learn to recognize this, as that's the first step in getting the most out of your day.

Now let's see what happens if we don't pay attention to our productivity habits and our environment.

This section will cover the aspects that reduce our productivity — so read on to make sure you're aware of them.

After all — only once you're aware of what negatively affects your productivity can you act on it.

The cost of lost productivity

Productivity statistics from Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2021 report include this shocking detail — the cost of lost productivity is $8.1 trillion per year.

The main factor the report examined was the lack of employee engagement — which plays a crucial role in employee productivity.

According to the latest Gallup report, employee engagement increased by 1% in 2021 compared to the previous year — although it still was below its peak in 2019.

So, here’s how the numbers changed over the years:

What decreases productivity graphic

The excessive use of technology decreases productivity

As we've already seen, technology can be one of the greatest assets and significantly ease the process of achieving your desired goals.

However, if not adequately used, it can turn out to be an obstacle to your productivity.

That's why we need to carefully choose the right number and combination of tools.

Excessive use of tools in the digital workspace results in a loss of productivity

Even though almost everyone agrees about the advantages of using digital tools, there's a limit to the number of tools that can be useful.

When workers are required to switch between different apps often, not only are they losing time in this very process, but it’s also easier to get distracted.

How to stay focused on work in a world full of distractions

Average employee productivity statistics indicate 44.3% of workers believe that using too many apps significantly lowers productivity.

Another relevant factor mentioned was receiving too many notifications.

Stress and fatigue decrease productivity

From everyday responsibilities to traumatic events, both stress and fatigue are natural reactions that everyone experiences. Their impact on our performance is evident because both affect not only our body, but our feelings, thoughts, and behavior as well.

Productivity is also affected.

That's another common way our productivity levels are reduced, so it's crucial to be able to recognize the symptoms and act on them.

Emotional labor: What it is and what it is not, and how to manage it

41% of people agree that stress harms their productivity

We can't think of a single thing that stress can have a positive impact on — can you? In fact, 41% of people admit that stress causes a loss in their productivity.

There are many reasons a person can feel stressed out, from personal relationships, health, and financial issues, to work-related stress.

Yet, if we want our performance to be the best it can be, we ought to learn how to deal with it.

Take some time to develop a strategy, and put it into your schedule.

It may sound strange to dedicate a period of time to thinking about why you are stressed, but it'll bring you some perspective and focus.

It's all about training your brain to learn what to let go of, and what to pay its full attention to.

High levels of fatigue decrease one's performance by 33%

Living in the digital age often means living on the go, and the way technology shapes our lives highly impacts how we allocate time to various activities.

Although it's not recommended to use our devices an hour before going to bed, most of us do. And, that's just one of many reasons an abundance of people ends up being sleep deprived.

In order to function at our full capacity, our bodies need to get enough rest, and our brain needs to go through all the stages of sleep (3 non-REM and REM stages).

The consequence of not getting enough sleep (7–9 hours for adults) is feeling a high level of fatigue throughout the day.

Mental fatigue: what it is and how to overcome it

Alexia Cambon, a research director at Gartner, gave an interview for Forbes, depicting the results of their study about the effect of fatigue on employee performance.

She pointed out that fatigue can decrease performance by 33%.

Furthermore, the results also show that fatigue can also reduce feelings of inclusion by 44% — consequently, such workers are 54% more likely to leave their employers.

An unhealthy lifestyle and environment decrease productivity

People are creatures of habit — it's as simple as that. But, what does this mean, exactly? Think about Dryden's famous quote "We first make our habits, then our habits make us."

It's of utmost importance to understand that our lifestyle is just a combination of recurring patterns.

Yet, the choice is ours.

Knowing how bad habits impact our health, performance, and productivity can help you motivate yourself to break these habits.

Consuming sugary and calorie-ridden food slows down productivity

Consummation of heavy and sugary food and drinks is another way to significantly reduce our performance and make us tired.

We've mentioned how proper nutrition can benefit your productivity rates, so this would be the opposite. The reason is that the sugar spike, or sugar rush, that we feel at first, is inevitably followed by a crash.

That's when the drop in both our energy and productivity levels happens.

It's a less known fact that our brain, despite accounting for only 2% of our body mass, consumes approximately 20% of our daily calories — another interesting detail we found in the HubSpot's Productivity diet report. So, make sure your brain gets healthy food, and not just sugary delights.

Dehydration of only 3–4% can result in a 25% drop in productivity and performance

Staying hydrated is one of the most overlooked aspects of our performance. Dehydration can cause serious health issues in the long run — and this should be quite obvious, considering 40–75% of our total body mass is water.

Our cognitive abilities — such as memory, critical thinking, and alertness — are highly impacted even when we're experiencing mild dehydration.

Productivity statistics from The Hydration Equation report further indicate:

That's why it matters to track your daily intake of water, and increase it.

People are less productive when the room temperature isn't optimal

When the surrounding conditions are not optimal, they become a distraction for both our body and our mind. Why?

Well — it's hard to concentrate when you're shivering or sweating.

Now, we can't say what a perfect temperature is because it varies for individuals — not to mention groups of people from different parts of the world.

However, we can point to these 2 productivity statistics:

Furthermore, did you know that 20% of workers admitted that they had a problem with their coworkers because of the difference in their preferred optimal temperature?

So, make the effort to find the optimal room temperature for your office.

Bad work habits decrease productivity

Some of the most common bad habits in the workplace are:

When an employee struggles with breaking such habits, it is not only reflected in their professional achievements, but it also negatively impacts the whole company as well.

Learning how to recognize that you're not using your full potential is the first step in taking action to improve.

So, let's check out which bad habits impact productivity, and in what way.

Dealing with procrastination: Why it happens and how to fix it | How to beat procrastination: 8 personal tips from a productivity coach

88% of employees procrastinate for at least an hour per day

A lot of people tend to procrastinate. Sometimes, we do so because we find it difficult to start working on a task.

Now, how many employees procrastinate at work?

According to one procrastination study, 88% of employees admit they put off doing their work for at least an hour per day.

The same survey analyzed whether salaried workers and entrepreneurs procrastinate and if there is a difference between these categories of workers. As per their results:

As evident, procrastination makes you lose the time you could spend being productive.

Salary vs hourly employment: pros and cons

Multitasking can decrease productivity rates by 40%

Many people consider themselves to be great at multitasking and believe they are saving time that way.

However, it turns out that's simply not true — or at least, it’s not true for the vast majority of people.

Multitasking is an impossible goal to achieve for a whopping 97.5% of people. The explanation lies in the wiring of our brain — as neuroscience research points out — for most people, mental processing and attention simply can't be divided.

So, what most people actually consider to be the definition of multitasking is that a person is supposed to completely focus on a task, then redirect 100% of that focus to another task. During the process, there are 2 operations for our brain to complete:

That's where the "task switch cost” happens and cognitive demands increase.

Statistics show that, consequently, what we do while we think we're multitasking can lower our performance and productivity by a staggering 40%.

After distractions, it takes 23 minutes to regain focus

Being focused is the key element of being productive. This implies paying attention and doing a task without interruptions.

Think of the last time you were in "the zone" and someone interrupted you — it was obnoxious, right?

That's because it's not only the pace of our task performance that changes — our brain also completely transitions to a different mental state. As a consequence, it takes some time to get back into the previous mental state of being focused.

Evidently, a disruption from a full focus costs us 23 minutes and 15 seconds of productivity. That's how long it takes for our brain to re-focus on the task we were doing before we were distracted.

86% of executives agree ineffective communication causes productivity-related issues

Effective communication is the key element in every interaction.

People are always trying to convey what they want to express with the right words for the recipient to understand everything correctly and not misinterpret the message.

However, when that doesn't happen, productivity is affected — especially in the workplace.

Productivity statistics reveal that 86% of the executives believe that ineffective communication is the main problem for all productivity-related issues.

That's because workplace communication is often expected to be concise. It can even be considered impolite if you're not concise — during meetings, when writing an email, etc.

For this reason, everyone needs to work on improving their communication — for the sake of improving productivity on the whole.

Excessive emails and meetings decrease productivity

Other factors that can negatively affect employee productivity are emails and meetings.

Attending too many meetings results in having less time to focus on actual work and finish significant tasks.

At the same time, checking emails and going back and forth when replying to them can also be exhausting.

Let’s take a look at the emails and meetings statistics, to better understand their negative impact on productivity.

The average employee checks email 36 times per hour

How many times did you pause reading this article because you got another email? And, did you lose your focus once you got back to reading the article?

Here are some interesting email statistics from Atlassian’s survey on time wasters:

The same study reveals that annual productivity costs per employee are:

As you can see, unnecessary and poorly written emails can cost companies a lot of money.

At the same time, when it comes to employees, the cost is also linked to time (or the lack of it) — the more time you waste on emails, the less time you have to be productive with your actual priorities.

Most employees attend 62 meetings per month

Apart from emails, Atlassian's survey also analyzed the link between meetings and wasted time.

Here are the statistics about meetings:

Now, what do employees do during meetings? The same survey covered this aspect, too.

Given the fact that most of them consider meetings unnecessary, employees usually do the following:

Additionally, here’s how employees feel about meetings:

As a consequence of such stats, the cost of unnecessary meetings for US companies is $37billion.

Emails and meetings graphic

On the other hand, surveys show that remote workers prefer virtual meetings.

Namely, the 2021 State of Remote Work report by Owl Lab claims that 70% of participants believe virtual meetings are less stressful than in-person meetings. Besides, only 15% of employees say virtual meetings are not as productive as in-person meetings.

So, next time you start planning a meeting, think twice about it.

Think about whether a meeting is a good medium for communicating ideas and plans. If so, try to keep your meeting as brief as possible, by focusing only on the most significant information.

And, if you can, organize virtual meetings.

How to make meetings more productive

Workplace productivity statistics

Every successful business owner knows that tracking and managing productivity among employees makes all the difference.

Not only is there a direct correlation between productivity and revenue, but there’s also one between productivity and employee morale as well.

Over the last couple of years, working conditions have significantly changed, and the adoption rates of non-traditional work models have skyrocketed.

Let’s see what that means for the productivity of remote, in-office, and hybrid workers.

Remote work productivity statistics

At the beginning of the global pandemic, the whole world seemed to turn upside down. For the majority of companies, lockdowns and further measures of social distancing resulted in employees suddenly having to work from home.

The adaptation period may have been difficult — but the change of work model actually showed positive results for productivity.

The digital workspace removed many redundant aspects of work life, and distractions such as:

Such a more flexible work model pointed out several advantages of remote work — as a consequence, companies worldwide have been embracing it, and a lot of companies stayed remote.

And for good reason.

Many remote working productivity statistics show that such a work model has positive effects on employee effectiveness.

According to Microsoft’s report Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work, 80% of employees said they have been productive or more productive since they started working remotely.

Here are some other interesting remote work & productivity statistics.

98% of employees would like a permanent remote work arrangement opportunity

For many people, the remote work setting was uncharted territory before the pandemic made it a requirement.

The transition was abrupt, and too many work aspects suddenly started depending on the quality of our devices, as well as the quality of our internet connection. Many people found it frustrating.

However, once they got used to the remote work model, the advantages started being obvious, and the adoption rates have been skyrocketing ever since.

When it comes to the preference for working arrangements, the numbers differ for employers and employees.

This is what leaders think they should offer:

On the other hand, none of the employees agree that not offering a remote policy should be an option. Their answers were as shown below:

50% of employees report feeling healthier while working remotely

The fact that half of the global workforce feels better while working remotely tells a lot.

People are able to properly understand and organize their time, thus having a better work-life balance.

Productivity statistics from the report above indicate that 66% of employees often get more work done while working remotely, compared to when they had to go to the office.

An explanation for the majority of employees is that they feel they would otherwise use this time to commute, for example.

The difference in the number of emails delivered in February 2020 and February 2021 is 40 billion

As the shift to digital workspace happened with no warning, it boosted the importance of email communication.

As Deloitte reports, in February 2021, there were 40 billion more emails delivered, compared to February 2020.

The number of meetings also increased by 100%.

25% of workers aren’t able to unplug when working remotely

One of the biggest issues while working remotely is that employees don’t have clear boundaries between work time and free time.

Apart from this problem, many workers also miss chatting and interacting with coworkers face-to-face.

In their 2022 State Of Remote Work survey, Buffer examined the main struggles of working remotely — and here are their findings:

So, how can employees feel more connected to each other when not working in the same office?

The aforementioned survey states that working from coworking spaces can ease the feeling of loneliness.

Workplace productivity - remote work graphic

Office work productivity statistics

Working in the traditional office space puts some people in the correct mindset, and the very environment boosts their productivity.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of having a dedicated workspace (especially one that's not in your home). The productivity statistics below will help you understand the most important elements for both.

While working in the office, 55% of employees get 2 or fewer hours of deep work

What does it mean for an employee to be in a state of deep work? It is defined as the state of focused attention without any interruptions.

The data found in the 2021 Global Agency Productivity Report suggests that 55% of in-office workers don't manage to get over 2 hours of deep work. Ouch!

Let's check out and compare the numbers for in-office and remote workers.

Hours of deep work In-office workers Remote workers
Less than 2 hours 26% 13%
2 hours 29% 18%
4 hours 31% 32%
6 hours 9% 25%
More than 6 hours 4% 12%

Small talk is the biggest distraction for 80% of people in offices

When it comes to productivity in the workplace, statistics show that 80% of in-office workers believe their most common distraction is chatting with their coworkers.

Some other common distractions include:

In office productivity graphic

37% of jobs can be done fully remotely

Both employers and employees have started embracing the advantages of remote work. One of the main issues for business owners was how to keep track of whether their employees are actually working.

Well, luckily, the tools we have available are more than enough.

According to CNBC, over one-third — 37% — of jobs in the US don't require coming to the office.

However, some tasks do require in-person meetings, so the percentage for partially remote opportunities is 56%.

It's not surprising that the companies report investing in remote technology resources, 40% saying their capabilities are currently "much better."

For an additional 28%, said capabilities are "better", as stated in the article we've mentioned.

Workplace productivity - popular work models.png

Hybrid work productivity statistics

Innovative companies had started introducing a hybrid model of work much before the events of the pandemic.

The model implies:

What is flex time? A quick guide to flexible working

Moreover, many European countries are slowly embracing a four-day week, allowing people to spend more time with friends and family, and on leisure.

The impact on mental health was so positive that the productivity rates were boosted.

Furthermore, the total weekly workload wasn't impacted in the vast majority of cases.

Here are the numbers that illustrate the connection between hybrid work and productivity.

There's a 15% increase in the work-from-home days on a yearly basis

Not everyone is a fan of remote work. Some people simply don't have the conditions to work from home — but, it's great that more and more companies are offering the option.

Before the pandemic, the percentage of working-from-home full days in the US was only 5% — according to Bloomberg. In a single year, the percentage grew to 20%.

That being said, working-from-home days are quite disproportionately distributed among the essential workers and the ones in higher positions.

The availability of partially remote, hybrid work will result in a 5–10% decrease in the money spent in major city centers — because many companies' choice for an office location is exactly the city center.

Besides, as the aforementioned Microsoft’s study on hybrid work states, 53% of workers are thinking about transitioning to hybrid work.

By industry, the possibilities of implementing the hybrid model go as follows:

In the graph below, you can see the full list of industries.

Workplace productivity - hibryd work.png

54% of employees would leave their job for another offering flexible hours

As the number of companies offering different types of working conditions increases, employees are more likely to think about other options if the company they work for offers only the traditional setting.

According to Gallup's research, 54% of employees would leave their job if an opportunity with flexible working hours arose. It's only logical, as flexibility is one of the key drivers for employee engagement and productivity.

Productivity statistics from the same research indicate that any kind of re-optimization of working arrangements results in at least a 5% productivity increase.

Only 4% of employees would prefer to go back to working on-site

The work conditions, demands, and possibilities around the world have changed, and everyone should accept that — especially business owners.

The hybrid model of work proved to be beneficial for both sides. And according to the Gartner survey, only 4% of hybrid or remote employees would prefer to be back in the office.

There are many potentially severe implications of the fact, as the HR director of Gartner suggests — companies could lose up to 39% of their workforce if they tried to force the traditional setting.

Interesting productivity statistics from all over the globe

As with basically everything else in life, certain distinctions exist depending on the part of the world.

So, before we get to the conclusion, we'll share several country-specific interesting details about productivity.

Ireland is the most productive country in the world

If you're wondering how one can measure productivity on a country scale, it's just simple math.

The equation is a gross domestic product per hour worked.

And, the equation points to Ireland being the most productive country in the world, followed by Norway and Switzerland.

Of course, many other factors can't be taken into account. The number of hours varies by country, and different industries are at the forefront.

However, since we can't calculate all that, let's see the full list of the top 10 most productive countries by the equation we've mentioned.

The numbers show how much an average worker contributes to the country's economy on an hourly basis.

Ten most productive countries

In South Korea, productivity per hour grew a whopping 1,220% in less than 50 years

Productivity statistics by country reveal the staggering change in productivity in the period 1970–2017.

For example, workers in the US saw a 115% increase in productivity, while it's a 168% increase for the UK.

The more the country is technologically advanced, the lower the increase in productivity was in the said period, at least for the majority.

Some countries, such as Venezuela, Nigeria, or Barbados actually saw a decline in productivity.

However, the increase in South Korea is undoubtedly the highest reported — 1,220%.

The only other country that got close to 1,000% (with 939%) is Ireland — coincidentally (or not), the most productive country in the world, as we've seen.

The percentages indicate a relative change in the overall productivity levels, which is a different category than the absolute change. The latter one refers to the wage increase — and all the discrepancies can be attributed to the pay—productivity gap.

2 trials in Iceland proved shorter hours result in better productivity

Iceland was the pioneer in implementing the 4-day week and introducing shorter hours, hoping to prove it doesn't affect the workload. Two experimental trials were conducted from 2015 to 2019 and turned out to be a major success.

Not only was the weekly workload completed, but the employees reported being more productive than usual.

The result included:

As of 2021, a stunning 86% of the country's workforce has either moved to shorter hours or has the right to negotiate such conditions.

In 2022, Belgium introduced a shorter workweek, as well as the UK, where they started a six-month trial. Some other European countries that are considering such a trial are:

Apart from Europe, large corporations in Japan are considering a 4-day workweek. At the same time, employees working in Unilever in New Zealand are currently experimenting with this work schedule for one year.

Besides, employees in the US and Canada show great interest in working 4 days a week.

Hybrid work is on the rise in Europe

Employee statistics report State of Hybrid Work 2022: Europe shows some interesting trends about the top work benefits related to hybrid work.

The following are the benefits employees would want from their future employer:

PTO vs vacation: what is the difference? | How to create a PTO policy

Now, what do managers of hybrid teams think about the overall productivity of their employees? As per the same study, this is what team leads have to say about employee productivity after the shift to hybrid work:

And, what about employees? Do they feel less or more productive when working in a hybrid team?

This survey shows that 79% of workers feel just like before or more productive when working remotely, compared to in-office workers.

Portugal is the best country for remote workers

According to Kayak’s survey on remote work, Portugal is ranked the best country for remote work.

Here are the traits that make Portugal a perfect choice for remote workers:

Apart from Portugal, here are other countries that had great ratings:

So, if you’re considering moving to another country, feel free to explore the aforementioned places to ensure your remote work office (maybe at the beach) has everything you need to be productive.

Productivity statistics conclusions

Different people apply different strategies to boost their productivity rates, and the main question is whether they should focus on internal or external factors. We hope these productivity statistics will help you understand what matters the most in terms of improvement, so you can become the most productive version of yourself.

Once you master the productivity-related skills at the workplace, the same set of skills will help you improve your overall daily productivity, even when you're on vacation, and get the most out of your time.

Remember, various aspects impact productivity rates, and many of them have changed lately, as a direct consequence of the rapid shift to remote working conditions. This all may sound challenging, and we believe most people just don't know how to start tracking their time.

Like any other aspect of life, you can't get the best results if you don't track and measure the change.