Workplace productivity statistics for 2023
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.
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 a content writer completing 1,000 words in less time — for instance, in 4 hours.
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:
- 70–75% of their working hours working, and
- 25–30% of their working hours on breaks.
It's only natural that people can't be at their most productive levels at all times, and such behavior can be a straight path to burnout and its negative effects.
The 70 percent productivity rule
So, in the business context, the 70 percent rule applies, suggesting that is the optimal productivity rate for employees. This number implies that the best practice is for employees to work at a less intense pace most of the time, with no pressure and constant stress over deadlines.
Such employees will have the best response when their workload demands are temporarily increased, knowing that they will soon ease back into the routine.
A recent State of Global Workplace study examined the productivity rates of average employees, — 79% admitted they weren't productive during the entire working day. Moreover, the average answer for full-time employees was — they report being fully productive for less than 3 hours (per an 8-hour shift).
Results from another report support the claim, showing that even the employees who are actively working on tasks spend only 53.3% of their time actually being productive.
So, objectively, in comparison to the average rate, the 70 percent rule is certainly a productivity upgrade and a great way to achieve a work-life balance.
What are productivity metrics?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics explores the topic and measures productivity at different levels. To measure productivity, the 2 main categories they differentiate between are:
- Labor productivity — measured as growth in hours worked vs. growth in output, and
- Total factor productivity — measured as growth in labor + capital + energy + materials + services vs. growth in output.
Labor productivity refers to efficiency:
labor hours per week (40 hours of content writing) / units produced per week (5 blog posts) = 8 hours per blog post
Total factor productivity refers to dollars (or other units) generated per unit of labor (e.g. economic growth of a country, Growth Per Capita):
one hour of one worker in *Luxembourg contributes $97.51 to the country's economic growth
Now, let's see how exactly you can stay productive and, what are the key factors that increase productivity.
*According to Zendesk study
What increases productivity? (+ statistics)
Well, luckily, there's an abundance of factors regarding productivity that we can have control over, or at least pay attention to.
To name a few examples, a great start to increase your productivity levels includes the following:
- Having a good night's sleep,
- Being well-rested,
- Being hydrated,
- Eating healthy, etc.
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 objective conditions such as:
- The room temperature,
- Noise levels,
- Whether the chair we are sitting in is comfortable, and
- Similar aspects of our immediate environment.
Some other secrets to increasing productivity are specifically work-related, and specific methods and strategies can be applied to achieve great results.
Productivity booster #1: Healthy lifestyle
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:
- Reduced stress levels,
- Better self-esteem,
- Prevention of chronic diseases, and
- Lower medical and insurance costs.
Let's see how all that affects our productivity levels.
Adequate nutrition boosts productivity levels by 25%
Proper intake of vitamins and minerals matters for our energy levels. So, if you want to achieve maximum-quality performance, you need to intake the right amount of the right food at the right time.
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, Hubspot's employee productivity statistics also 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.
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.
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.
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, 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 the risk of various diseases (from the common cold to Type 2 diabetes) — resulting in fewer sick days.
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.
Reducing sitting time increases focus and productivity
Apart from the exercise, another great way to increase your ability to concentrate is — low movement and standing.
Productivity statistics show that employees who use a standing desk boast a 46% higher productivity than their counterparts who sit during the whole shift.
Only 10 minutes of any kind of movement increases mental awareness, in general, directly leading to higher productivity.
Moreover, 71% of employees who reduced their sitting time by only 1 hour per shift report feeling more focused and productive.
Productivity booster #2: Creativity
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:
- It makes them much more productive (39% of respondents),
- It makes them somewhat more productive (32%),
- It makes them somewhat less productive (6%), and
- It has no impact on their productivity (22%).
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:
- Ages 18–34 — 95%,
- Ages 35–54 — 84%, and
- Ages 55 and more — 66%.
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 research, 90% of the respondents agree that making work and individual tasks more game-like, makes them more productive.
The same research shows that employees enjoy game-based learning — 30% of respondents find game-based learning captivating. 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 currently 3.26 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 resembles 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 77% of employees
As per the latest Gallup study, in 2022, 23% of employees reported being engaged at work. The same study reveals that there's a connection between engagement and performance outcomes, such as:
- Safety, and
In addition, low engagement has negative effects on the global economy — thus low engagement costs companies $8.8 trillion. The number translates to a stunning 9% of the global GDP, which is another relevant detail from the aforementioned study.
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.
When a person is actively engaged, their focus is much better, and there's less room for distractions.
Productivity booster #3: Technology
Technology and AI developments have had a major impact on workplace efficiency in many industries. Usage of software:
- Radically increases performance possibilities,
- Allows easier and instant communication, and
- Lowers the margin of error.
Here's what you need to know about the statistics on achieving productivity with technology.
Time 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 time management system for getting the most out of the very limited source of their time.
To achieve work-life balance, you must understand how much time you 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 annual cost of time theft for US employers is a whopping $400 billion, and
- 74% of employers suffer losses directly due to buddy punching.
The same survey mentions a company in California, which 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 your 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.
Low productivity effect #1: Losing money
Productivity statistics from the aforementioned Gallup's report include this shocking detail — the cost of lost productivity is $8.8 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 said Gallup report, employee engagement increased by 2% in 2022, compared to the previous year — and has reached a new peak.
Here's how the numbers changed over the years:
- In 2020 — employee engagement was at 20%,
- In 2021 — employee engagement was at 21%, and
- In 2022 — employee engagement was at 23%.
As the numbers show us, employee engagement is increasing at a steady rate. However, we're still talking about less than one-quarter of the global workforce being actively engaged in their job.
So, the vast majority of employees — 77%, who feel disengaged and are thus less productive — is to blame for the monumental waste of trillions of dollars per year. Not even to mention the losses regarding all the potential wasted.
Low productivity effect #2: Excessive use of technology
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.
For example, studies show that 69% of workers spend up to 1 hour navigating between work-related apps only. On an annual level, that translates to 32 wasted days per employee. Ouch!
Low productivity effect #3: Stress, fatigue, and the role of our surroundings
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 bodies, but our feelings, thoughts, and behavior as well.
There's a myriad of potential stressors just waiting for us to fall into their trap, and one thing's for sure — the surrounding environment is often to blame. From the room temperature to the people we're engaging with at the moment, we can't stay indifferent to what happens around us.
In all those instances, 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.
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. A recent study of worksites in Kansas, published in the National Library of Medicine, also confirms the correlation between higher stress and lower 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 job performance to be the best it can be, we ought to learn how to stay focused while dealing with a personal crisis.
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.
High levels of fatigue decrease one's performance by 33%
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 (7–8 hours for adults is recommended) is feeling a high level of fatigue throughout the day.
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%.
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 tech devices an hour before going to bed, most of us do. To be precise, approximately 75% of children and 70% of adults admit to using devices in their bedrooms, even in bed.
And, that's just one of many reasons an abundance of people ends up being sleep deprived. Moreover, sleep deprivation can negatively affect your mental health, as the abovementioned Forbes article also mentions that fatigue can reduce feelings of inclusion — by a stunning 44%. It turns out that such workers are 54% more likely to leave their employers.
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:
- Low temperatures cause drops in productivity levels by 4%.
- High temperatures cause drops in productivity levels by 10%.
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 designated working space.
Low productivity effect #4: Unhealthy lifestyle
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 it makes sense that unhealthy choices do the opposite and lower our productivity. 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, 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 (segment of the Productivity diet) further indicate:
- 1% of dehydration can negatively affect one's performance by 12%, while
- 3–4% can take up a full quarter (25%) of our abilities.
That's why it matters to track your daily intake of water, and increase it.
Low productivity effect #5: Poor work habits
Some of the most common bad habits in the workplace are:
- Inability to accept feedback,
- Not taking regular breaks, or
- Not being a team player.
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.
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. Ouch!
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:
- 80% of salaried employees procrastinated between 1 and 4 hours per day.
- 76% of entrepreneurs procrastinated between 1 and 4 hours per day.
Results from a more recent survey indicate that between 30% and 65% of employees spend a portion of their work time on activities unrelated to work. I.e. they are procrastinating regularly.
As evident, procrastination makes you lose the time you could spend being productive, harming both employers and employees.
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.
Statistics show that what we do while we think we're multitasking can lower our performance and productivity by a staggering 40%.
That happens because, during the process called “task switch cost”, there are 2 operations for our brain to complete:
- Goal shifting, and
- Rule activation.
So, whenever we try to effectively switch between projects or tasks, our cognitive demands increase, as we have to complete both operations we've just mentioned.
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.
And, cue the bad news, here are the results of the recent Udemy Workplace Distraction Report — 70% of employees agree they feel distracted at work. While 54% claim they are dealing with poor performance due to workplace distractions , a whopping 50% state distractions ruin their productivity too.
86% of executives agree ineffective communication lowers productivity
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 and work failures.
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.
Low productivity effect #6: Excessive emails and meetings
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 average worker checks their email 36 times per hour.
- Once employees check their emails, they need 16 minutes to refocus.
- There are 304 business emails received on average, per week.
The same study reveals that annual productivity costs per employee are:
- $1,250 for spam emails,
- $1,800 for unnecessary emails, and
- $2,100 to $4,100 for poorly written emails.
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:
- Most workers attend 62 meetings per month,
- Half of the participants believe that meetings are time wasters, and
- Employees spend 31 hours per month on average attending unproductive 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:
- 96% miss meetings,
- 91% daydream during meetings,
- 73% do other work during meetings, and
- 39% sleep during meetings.
Additionally, here's how employees feel about meetings:
- 47% feel meetings are a waste of time, and
- 45% feel overwhelmed.
As a consequence of such results, the cost of unnecessary meetings for US companies is a whopping $37 billion.
Harvard Business Review also reports that a staggering 92% of employees agree that meetings are often unproductive. Moreover, the same survey indicates that fewer meetings result in up to 71% higher productivity.
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
The global workforce is rapidly embracing the change of work model, as the remote model actually showed positive results for productivity.
The digital workspace removed many redundant aspects of work life and distractions such as:
- Needlessly long meetings,
- Time spent commuting,
- Chatty coworkers, etc.
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. Results from the Global Agency Landscape 2022 also show that 37% of companies with hybrid-remote culture (no requirement to be in the office/2 or more mandatory days in the office per week) boast improved productivity levels.
Here are some other interesting remote work & productivity statistics.
71% of companies offer at least some amount of remote work
In their 2022 State Of Remote Work survey, Buffer reported that there was a shift in the work structure. Namely, a significant increase in companies offering remote work at least part of the time — from 49% to 71% currently.
When it comes to further division of the remote work structure, here's how the examined companies report currently operating:
- 49% — fully remote,
- 23% — hybrid and remote-first,
- 16% — hybrid and office-occasional, and
- 11% — hybrid and office-first, remote allowed.
21% of remote workers struggle with staying home too much
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.
The aforementioned Buffer's report also examined the main struggles of working remotely — and here are their findings:
- 21% of employees stay home too often as they have no reason to leave,
- 15% of employees feel lonely,
- 14% of employees find it hard to work across time zones,
- 11% of employees find it hard to unplug,
- 11% of employees find it difficult to stay motivated,
- 9% of employees experience difficulty focusing,
- 9% of employees have to work more, while
- 8% of employees report difficulty with collaboration and communication.
So, how can employees feel more connected to each other when not working in the same office?
The aforementioned survey states some of the solutions, like working from coworking spaces, which can ease the feeling of loneliness.
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.
64% of employees would consider switching jobs if they had to return to the office
Now that people have embraced the advantages of hybrid and remote work, for some, getting back to the office is not an option.
Results from a recent study by ADP Research Institute indicate that working in-office impacts employees' living arrangements. If an employer forced them to return to the workplace full-time, almost two-thirds would start looking for another role.
Additionally, according to Gallup's research on remote work, any kind of re-optimization of working arrangements — companies offering flex time or hybrid schedules — results in at least a 5% productivity increase.
Not only that, but 51% of employees admit they'd switch jobs if they were offered the same position, but in a company that allows flex time. It seems it's high time to embrace the fact — hybrid and flex are both the present and future of work.
Small talk is the biggest distraction for 80% of people in offices
When it comes to productivity in the workplace, statistics found in the aforementioned Udemy report show that 80% of in-office workers believe their most common distraction is chatting with their coworkers.
Some other common workplace distractions include:
- Coworkers talking loudly or nearby,
- Phone rings, alerts, and notifications,
- Office celebrations and team building activities,
- Nearby group meetings,
- Visitors to coworkers,
- Pets in the office, etc.
37% of jobs can be done fully remotely
Both employers and employees have started embracing the advantages of remote work, as it's a definition of a win-win situation. One of the main issues for business owners was how to keep track of whether their remote employees are actually working.
Well, luckily, that issue is easily solved with the tools we have available, combined with prioritizing asynchronous communication and building trust among the team members. Here's what the remote worker's basic toolkit usually consists of:
- Time and goal tracking software,
- Communication and chat apps,
- Project and task management tool, and
- A video conferencing tool.
As CNBC reports, over one-third — 37% — of jobs in the US don't require coming to the office.
Moreover, employees would rather have lower income than regularly having to go to the office — the same article reports employees would take a 14% pay cut if that would allow them to work remotely.
The number is even higher for parents with younger children — 20%.
Hybrid work productivity statistics
Innovative companies had started introducing a hybrid model of work much before the events of the pandemic.
The hybrid model implies:
- Flexible working hours,
- A combination of remote and in-office work, or
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.
58% of Americans can work from home at least once a week
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.
McKinsey's 2022 American Opportunity Survey reveals that the equivalent of 92 million (i.e. 58% of the workforce) workers in the US have the opportunity to work remotely — at least part of the time.
Another of this survey's revelations is that for 35% of workers, the remote option applies to all 5 days.
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.
This is also corroborated by the statistic we've mentioned above, so it seems that in-office only setting is not an option anymore, especially for knowledge workers.
82% of employees say hybrid work model increased their motivation
When it comes to notable differences that exist between traditional and hybrid setting employees, motivation levels are at the very top of the list — with 82%.
Here are other benefits that made the top 5 list, according to the Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study 2022:
- 76% of employees report financial benefits, i.e. saved money,
- 74% of employees report social benefits, i.e.improved family relationships,
- 68% of employees report physical benefits, i.e. positive impact on their fitness, and
- 55% of employees report mental benefits, i.e. decreased stress level.
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 latest trends and wrap up the article, we'll share several country-specific interesting details about productivity.
Luxembourg is the most productive country in the world
If you're wondering how you 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 Luxembourg being the most productive country in the world, followed by Ireland and Norway, according to above-mentioned Zendesk study.
Of course, many other factors can't be taken into account. The number of working 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.
|Rank||Country||Productivity per person|
In South Korea, productivity per hour grew a whopping 1,514% in less than 50 years
Productivity statistics by country reveal the staggering change in productivity in the period 1970–2019.
For example, Our world in data also indicates that workers in the US saw a 122% increase in productivity in those 49 years. In the same period, productivity increase for the UK points out to 171%.
Some countries, such as Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago actually saw a decline in productivity.
However, the increase in South Korea is undoubtedly the highest reported — 1,514%.
The only other country that exceeded a 1,000% increase in productivity in this period (by 72%) is Ireland — coincidentally (or not), the second 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. Another interesting detail is that the more the country is technologically advanced, the lower the increase in productivity was in the abovementioned period, at least for the majority.
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:
- Better work-life balance,
- Happier employees, and
- Recognizing the importance of their personal lives and overall well-being.
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 or have already started such a trial are:
- Germany, and
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, Canada, Ireland, and Scotland are expected to join the experiment in 2023, and adapt their work schedules to 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:
- Flexible working hours — 37%,
- Four-day workweek — 37%,
- Unlimited holiday — 27%, and
- Flexible working location — 25%.
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:
- 33% believe there's no change in the productivity levels of their employees
- 32% claim their team is more productive, and
- 26% say their team is less productive.
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 from 2022, Portugal is ranked the best country for remote work with a score of 100/100.
Here are the traits that make Portugal a perfect choice for remote workers:
- It offers a digital nomad visa,
- It is politically stable, and
- Weather conditions are pleasant.
Apart from Portugal, here are other countries that had great ratings too:
- Japan, and
So, if you're considering moving to another country, feel free to explore which country offers nomad visas. Also, check the aforementioned places to ensure your remote work office (maybe at the beach) has everything you need to be productive.
Productivity trends for the future
Now let's check out how technological advancements contribute to and shape the future of work, and therefore, productivity as well.
Here are the top trends that companies worldwide should implement in order to stay competitive and ahead of the curve.
Productivity trend #1: Investing in employee experience to increase productivity
With skyrocketing rates of hybrid and remote work settings, companies are still finding ways to improve team connectivity and overall experience of employees.
Results from a survey by Gartner show that 58% of examined companies say they've invested in active improvement of employee experience in the previous year. The most important aspects of such investments are:
- Control over work schedule,
- Paid leave, and
- Stability in the schedule.
As we can conclude, both employers and employees have been realizing the importance of a work-life balance, and flexibility is certainly a major factor in achieving it. That's precisely the reason why companies have been investing in the abovementioned aspects of employee experience.
Productivity trend #2: Addressing the quiet quitting to increase productivity
It's time for everyone to admit that quiet quitting is real. As per Gallup's research, at least half of the US workforce are “quiet quitters”.
The term refers to employees doing the bare minimum at their job, therefore negatively affecting overall productivity in the workplace. We're not saying everyone should go above and beyond at all times, but the fact is that the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is the lowest in close to a full decade.
That's why managers must find ways not only to engage employees, but also to adapt the following to hybrid work:
- Contribute to the employee development,
- Develop meaningful relationships with employees, and
- Enrich their company culture and organizational purpose.
One thing is for sure — leaders agree that the future of work is hybrid.
Productivity trend #3: Empathetic leadership to increase productivity
It's only natural that every employee likes to be valued and perceived as an important part of the organizational network. With their mind set on increasing the employee retention rates, the latest trend in leadership revolves around empathy.
A whopping 85% of US employees report that empathetic leadership results in higher productivity. Following up on the fact, 90% agree that another result is higher job satisfaction, while 79% say it is directly related to employee turnover rates — by significantly lowering them.
Here are the top qualities that workers seek in a leader:
- Open and transparent,
- Encouraging, and
- Able to handle difficult conversations.
So, the message is quite clear — invest in employees' well-being, increase transparency, and embrace employee individuality.
Employers who perceive their employees as people, not only the workforce, have better results, lower retention rates, and obligatorily higher productivity rates.
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.
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