93 Compelling Productivity Statistics: 2021/2022 Challenges & Engagement Data Analysis
Employee productivity is the predominant attribute of successful organizations. Essentially, it’s a vital operational metric that steals a match on all the others. In fact, productivity statistics have shown that maintaining high workplace productivity levels can spell the difference between a thriving organization and one that is far from impressive.
To be precise, workforce productivity directly impacts business performance/profit, and it’s indirectly correlated to revenue. However, ensuring that all employees are productive is easier said than done, especially with the intricacies of the modern workforce. Even with top-of-the-line productivity tools in the form of web collaboration software in the market, it can be hard to reap meaningful benefits without a vivid picture of industry changes.
In this article, we’ll discuss all the key figures and facts about productivity as reeled out by reputable research firms. We’ll take you through all the most important employee productivity statistics to help you remain abreast of key changes. We’ll also delve into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employee productivity in terms of health, work habits, and other factors. Ultimately, we hope to help you improve productivity and reap benefits, such as increased profitability and consistent business growth.
Everything about modern workplace productivity is changing fast. The nature of work is changing, and so is the behavior and characteristics of modern employees. As a result, organizations are under constant pressure to transform their workplaces and employee experience as well. The following statistics provide a general overview of the state of employee productivity in a typical workday.
The average American worker’s net productivity has increased by 253% in the last seven decades. (goremotely.net, 2021)
10.1% – the increase in the productivity of the non-farm sector during Q3 2020. (goremotely.net, 2021)
The sector also cut work hours by 42.9%, resulting in a 37.1% reduction in output. (goremotely.net, 2021)
1.7% – the increase in US productivity in 2019. (Marketwatch, 2019)
The most productive country in the world is Luxembourg, with an average number of hours worked per person of 1,512. (goremotely.net, 2021)
The top six most productive countries are in Scandinavia. (goremotely.net, 2021)
The country with the lowest productivity score in 2019 was the Czech Republic, with average productivity of 39.2%. It is followed by Mexico with a productivity score of 41.5%. (goremotely.net, 2021)
These countries are known for working long hours with employees having little time for themselves. (goremotely.net, 2021)
Even more, the increased workload can decrease employee productivity by 68%. (ontheclock.com, n.d.)
Additionally, 71.5% have established a way to measure productivity. (hubstaff.com, 2018)
An Evolving Workforce
65% of workers claim to be more productive during the holidays. (goremotely.net, 2021)
35% of workers feel less productive. (goremotely.net, 2021)
More productive workers avoid distractions to be able to leave the workplace on time. (goremotely.net, 2021)
Superior talent can be up to 8x more productive than average workers. (dynamicsignal.com, 2020)
Talent, 10+ years of service, and high engagement have been noted among high performing workers. (dynamicsignal.com, 2020)
83% of employees say working in an office is not necessary to be productive. (goremotely.net, 2021)
According to HubSpot, 86% of modern employees prefer to work alone to reach peak productivity. (Hubstaff, 2018)
Besides, 27% of employees believe working in an open office or newsroom can help them hit maximum productivity. (HubSpot, 2018)
Employees who get enough sleep have been found to be more productive as opposed to those who don’t. (goremotely.net, 2021)
Productivity can be increased by using 2.5 work time for exercise. (goremotely.net, 2021)
72% – the increase in time management skills from exercising during weekdays. (goremotely.net, 2021)
25% – the boost in job performance from proper nutrition. (goremotely.net, 2021)
Workers who eat five portions of veggies and fruit for at least four days a week have been found to be 25% more productive. (goremotely.net, 2021)
Sources of workplace stress that lead to reduced productivity include low company morale (34%) project completion delays/failures (44%) lost sales (18%), and missed performance goals (25%). (dynamicsignal.com, 2020)
Back then, 65% of full-time employees think that remote work schedules can increase their productivity. (Hubstaff, 2018)
On the other hand, 37% of employees think that a closed office can foster productivity. Besides, 23% of partitioned cubicles can help, and 19% would thrive in open-desk layouts. (Hubstaff, 2018)
Also, according to some studies, multitasking can reduce employee productivity by up to 40%. (Hubstaff, 2018)
On average, an employee wastes 2.09 hours daily on non-work-related activities. (Hubstaff, 2018)
Technology is Impacting Productivity
Since four years ago, 55% of retailers believe better technology can positively impact productivity. (Kronos, 2016)
Moreover, companies with robust online social networks record 7% better productivity than those without. (Deloitte, n.d.)
In 2018, 74.8% of global organizations were projected to increase the use of productivity tools and processes. (Hubstaff, 2018)
When distracted, an average employee takes 23 minutes to regain focus. (HubSpot, n.d.)
Employee health and performance are directly related, as a study years ago had articulated. Employees who eat healthy each day are 25% more likely to perform better at work. (HubSpot, 2017)
According to Drumhum Inc, the use of cognitive-enhancing medication to its employees improved productivity by 4%. (PwC, 2018)
The widespread proliferation of innovative technologies has transformed the modern workplace. What used to be a mere physical space is now instant access and always connected environment where employees collaborate and communicate in numerous ways. Clearly, the distinction that existed between personal and professional life has been blurred, and the workplace is now truly digital.
As a business leader, it’s time to act and align your strategies with the changing workplace demographics. You need to provide the right tools to meet the increasing demand of the multigenerational workforce and anchor working styles on robust technologies. Statistics have shown that full-time employees savor working in virtualized work locations. Ideally, there is a need to support virtual work environments and embrace workplace evolution to remain relevant.
2. Employee Engagement Statistics
Employee engagement is the extent of the mental and emotional connection your employees feel towards their work. It is the degree, including which employees are enthusiastic about their tasks and feel more connected to their workplaces. When it comes to workplace productivity, employee engagement isn’t the silver bullet, but it can positively impact the performance of your business.
Improving employee engagement promotes a positive workplace culture and motivates every employee to put extra effort into every task. Engaged employees are more innovative, productive, happier, and healthy. On the other hand, a disengaged workforce has high rates of absenteeism and employee turnover.
80% of the global workforce don’t sit behind desks, making engagement difficult. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
Companies that have high employee engagement enjoy 17% more productivity. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
Those in the top 25% on employee experience enjoy around 3x ROI and 2x return on sales. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
A 20% to 25% improvement in productivity results from employees who are connected. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
According to a study two years ago by Gallup, 15% of global employees are engaged in their work. On the contrary, 18% of employees are actively disengaged. (gallup.com, 2018)
In terms of engagement by category, executives/managers/officials are the most engaged employees at 28%. The group is closely followed by professionals (27%), service workers (18%), agricultural workers (18%), clerical/sales workers (14%), and production/manufacturing workers (12%). (gallup.com, n.d.)
Only 1 out of 4 employees believe that their employer takes their suggestion and feedback seriously. (TINYpulse, 2019)
Benefits of engaged employees
High levels of positive employee experience increase the level of discretionary effort by 100%. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
As of 2019, employees in the US are engaged (35%), actively disengaged (13%), and not engaged (52%) (LinkedIn, 2020)
According to AON, engaged teams achieve 17% higher productivity, 21% greater profitability, and 10% higher customer ratings. (aon.com, 2018)
Companies that have an employer brand and strong employee value proposition experience a 28% reduction in turnover. (aon.com, 2018)
An increase in employee engagement can increase retention rates by up to 87%. (Deloitte, n.d.)
In addition, highly engaged employees are 41% less likely to be absent from work. More importantly, highly engaged teams experience a 59% lower turnover. (gallup.com, 2018)
Better still, highly engaged business teams have 28% less shrinkage and approximately 40% fewer quality incidents. Again, when business teams are highly engaged, there are 70% fewer safety incidents. (gallup.com, 2018)
Generally, high performers are approximately 15% happier than their counterparts. This data aligns perfectly with the study by the University of Warwick that found happy employees to be 12% more likely to be productive. (TINYpulse, 2019)
Increased employee interaction can boost performance by up to 20%. (ontheclock.com, n.d.)
From the data above, it’s easy to see that employee engagement is important to your business. It motivates employees to make substantial improvements and to remain committed to the team’s goals. As such, to reap maximum benefits, you should explore all available avenues to improve employee engagement at your workplace.
We suggest using reliable payroll and attendance software solutions, giving each employee individual attention, and recognizing top-performing employees to increase engagement. Listening to employees, fostering close connections, and providing proper training can also create a magical atmosphere for improved employee engagement.
3. Communication for Productivity Statistics
Poor communication is a detriment to the productivity and motivation of employees. It’s like a virus that starts small and propagates quickly, eventually infecting the whole organization. It incapacitates your teams and limits your business’ ability to optimize performance. What’s more, poor communication leads to limited employee engagement, uncertainty, and confusion, thus, promoting a culture of distrust.
78% of workers see the need to prioritize communication in their organization. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
52% of workers have seen poor financial results from ineffective communication. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
36% of workers reported having been in unsafe situations due to ineffective communication. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
52% of workers have reported increased stress levels due to inefficient workplace communication. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
86% of executives, educators, and employees see ineffective communication as a key factor in workplace failures. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
85% of workers lose two to three working hours per week searching for information. (Dynamic Signal, 2019)
80% of workers are stressed due to inefficient company communication. (Source: Dynamic Signal, 2019)
Millennials represent 50% of the modern workforce. Surprisingly, this generation has the largest influence on workplace communications. (polly.ai., n.d.)
Approximately, there are 269 billion emails sent each day globally. Unfortunately, because of the busy nature of the modern workplace, employees open only 24% of these emails. (polly.ai., n.d.)
Information in the digital workplace is growing at an unprecedented pace. As such, it’s becoming difficult by the day for employees to find the information they need. But, employees need to promptly access the right information to boost their performance. To be on the safe side, your organization should put in place effective communication strategies. This way, employees will stay connected, and their ability to work together will be enhanced.
Leading Web Collaboration Software
monday.com. A customizable web-based collaboration and productivity software that can help teams of any type of business from any type of industry manage different types of projects easily. Read more about it in our monday.com review.
Wrike. A top collaboration and project management system with tools for task prioritization, interactive timeline, discussions, and newsfeeds. Check it out in detail in this Wrike review.
Smartsheet. A comprehensive spreadsheet-based collaboration system with easy-to-use features such as Gantt charts, calendar view, resource management, and activity logs. Learn more about it in our Smarthsheet review.
Asana. A popular web-based collaboration software tool for teams and project managers that lets users manage tasks, collaborate, communicate, and track progress. For more information, check out this Asana review.
ProjectManager. A project management application with online file storage, chat, discussions, and instant reporting tools, it lets users collaborate across different projects. Check out this ProjectManager review to learn more.
4. Productivity in Meeting Statistics
To progress as a unit, every business needs to hold meetings. But holding a meeting nowadays comes with its fair share of challenges. Just imagine having a meeting with a team of remote workers. Even with great video conferencing software, there is no guarantee that everyone will be engaged. The statistics below reveal that not every meeting delivers the desired results. In fact, some meetings gobble up your company’s resources and only end up suffocating productivity.
Even back then, 40% of employees consider impromptu meetings from their colleagues stopping by their workstations as a key distraction. (hubspot.com, 2017)
On average, employees attend 62 meetings every month. Unfortunately, 50% of these meetings are considered time-wasting. (Doodle, 2019)
On average, more than 23% of professionals in the US have more than 5 minutes each week. (Doodle, 2019)
Besides, 68% of professionals in the US lost time because of poorly planned meetings. (Doodle, 2019)
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The Average Length of Meetings in 2019
The Average Length of Meetings in 2019 0-5 Minutes: 3%
The Average Length of Meetings in 2019 16-30 Minutes: 39%
The Average Length of Meetings in 2019 31-60 Minutes: 41%
The Average Length of Meetings in 2019 61-90 Minutes: 13%
The Average Length of Meetings in 2019 91+ Minutes: 4%
Source: Doodle "State of meetings report 2019"
When team members are not properly involved, meetings become a complete waste of time, and they weigh down productivity. This is the reason why you need to be selective about the meetings and the time you hold them. Ideally, you should cut all unproductive meetings that take up much time, preventing employees from achieving project goals.
5. Cost of Unproductive Employee Statistics
It goes without saying that being unproductive can be costly. The statistics below reveal the amount that organizations lose through unproductive employees.
Around 500 million workdays and $500 billion in productivity are lost because of workplace stress. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
$1,967 per employee per year – The average productivity losses linked to fatigue. (goremotely.net, 2021)
$483 to $605 billion – the annual losses from lost productivity due to employee disengagement. (Dynamic Signal, 2020)
It has long been found out that a lack of employee engagement with their job costs employers $550 billion each year. On the other hand, insomnia costs employers $63 billion. (HubSpot, 2017)
Also, email spam costs employers an estimated $21 billion in productivity. Facebook costs employers $28 billion, and fantasy football costs employers $18.7 billion. As new innovations come up to deal with problems, the size of productivity market share is expected to increase. (HubSpot, 2017)
Moreover, employees that change computer password so frequently cost businesses $16 billion. (HubSpot, 2017)
The cost of being unproductive can be monstrous, especially if it takes a lot of time to detect time-wasting activities. To mitigate the risk, you should implement robust time tracking tools, as well as reliable employee management solutions. This way, it will be easy to spot problems earlier and solve them sooner before they start crippling your progress.
6. Productivity Challenges Statistics
The modern workplace has become synonymous with collaboration problems, inefficient email communication, and cyberslacking. The average employee is facing a secret productivity troll in the name of email, smartphones, the internet, social media, and more. Add to this mix the COVID-19 pandemic, which had companies scrambling to set up their workers for remote work. For many employees and employers, getting over these challenges caused by the offsprings of technology has been their Achilles heels.
Workers have cited mental health challenges that have been hampering productivity since the COVID-19 outbreak, including difficulty concentrating (28.3%), taking longer to do a task (20%) difficulty thinking/deciding (14.7%) putting off challenging work (12.4%), and difficulty juggling tasks or responsibilities (11.8%) (Statista, 2020)
53.7% of employees who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic say smartphones were distracting them while 30.4% said gaming was doing the same, resulting in reduced productivity. (Statista, 2020)
55.8% those who work from home say that lack of social interaction is the most annoying thing about the setup. (Statista, 2020c)
21% of those who work from home spend around one hour on their phone work hours while 10.7% say it’s three or more hours for them. (Statista, 2020)
Surprisingly, only 60% or less of workday hours are spent on productive work. (IC Kollectif , 2018)
An average employee spends 28% of his/her workday, focusing on unnecessary distractions. Even worse, workers spend 27% of office hours feeling disorganized. (HubSpot, n.d.)
Also, 61% of employees say that a loud colleague is a major distraction in the office. (HubSpot, 2017)
According to a study by HubSpot, the following are the leading employee productivity prohibitors: mobile phone/texting (50%), gossip (42%), internet (39%), social media (38%), and snack breaks (27%). Other inhibitors include noisy coworkers (24%), meetings (23%), email (23%), and coworkers dropping by (23%). (HubSpot, 2017)
4% of organizations in the world found it difficult to establish a productivity-focused mindset amongst employees. Other challenges include quality of work (33.1%), staying focused (27.7%), team communication (24.6%), Lack of visibility (21.5%), work-life balance (19.2%). Moreover, organizational culture (18.5%) and maintaining relationships (17.7%) are major stumbling blocks. (Hubstaff, 2018)
These old report findings still ring true today:
65% of employees say they have used the internet for nonwork-related purposes during their workday. (Connect Solutions, 2018)
Despite the emergence of smartphones and fast internet, employee productivity growth has averaged approximately 1%. (Accenture, 2017)
Besides, on average, an employee spends 13 hours per week checking email. (HubSpot, n.d.)
Even more, employees spend approximately 20 hours online. Worse, though, is the fact that 5 hours is spent surfing on nonwork-related websites. (HubSpot, 2017)
The average knowledge employee spends 11.7 hours every week, processing emails at the place of work. (Carlston, 2017)
Technology has an outsized potential to improve the productivity of your team. However, as you have seen from the data above, it can also impede progress when used the wrong way. There is no doubt about the importance of emails, the internet, smartphones, and social media in the business environment.
However, these tools seem to bring diminishing returns when it comes to productivity. The worst thing is that you cannot completely do away with these innovations. But failing to act on the use of these tools and emerging technologies could negatively impact employee productivity. You should be watchful of how your employees use these tools and orchestrate game-changing strategies to cut their impact on employee productivity.
7. Solutions to Productivity Challenges Statistics
When employees are productive, and everything is going smoothly, you probably don’t have plenty to think about. However, at times, things can easily grind to a halt as a result of poor employee productivity.
So, when employees are demotivated, and their productivity is going downhill, what intervention do you take? For that, we look at previous industry statistics that can still guide you through creative solutions to the productivity challenges your organization is facing:
According to a study by Accenture, innovations like AI technology and expert systems have the potential to make labor more productive. The use of these technologies is predicted to increase labor productivity by 40% in 2035. (Accenture, 2017)
76% of employees think that using company-provided wearable tech can help employers track productivity. (HubSpot, 2017)
Besides, in 2019, the productivity market size will grow since 62% of global companies are implementing automation to reduce transactional tasks and eliminate repetitive tasks. On the other hand, 47% are augmenting underlying work practices to boost productivity. (Deloitte, 2019)
Importantly, 46% of employees communicate with colleagues via email, phone, or IM to keep away from the distractions caused by face-to-face interactions. (Deloitte, 2016)
Some of the most used measures to mitigate productivity killers include: Blocking specific websites (36%), prohibiting personal phone calls during office hours (25%), monitoring emails and internet usage (22%), and scheduling lunch and snack breaks (19%). Others include limiting meetings (12%) and restricting the use of speakerphones during office hours (11%). (Accenture, 2016)
Also, working in intervals, say 90 minutes intervals can help improve productivity. Also, have employees focus on the most difficult task for 1 to 1 hour and 30 minutes, and then have a short break. (Accenture, 2016)
91 % of employees would be more effective during the workday if the workspace was better organized. (Accenture, 2016)
Besides, 84% of organizations think that transforming their workforce experience can improve productivity. (Deloitte, 2019)
Employees who feel that their feedback is valued are 4.6 times more likely to be empowered to deliver the desired results. (Salesforce Research, 2017)
Hiring employees that meet the Talent, Engagement, and Tenure (TET) trifecta can boost productivity. Unfortunately, only 5% of employees meet this trifecta. (Salesforce Research, 2017)
As you may have noticed, most of the productivity-related challenges businesses face are avoidable. Interestingly, if you minimize interruptions, keep employees engaged, enumerate them well, and provide all the tools they need, increasing productivity will be smooth sailing.
How Can You Use These Statistics To Your Advantage?
There you have it, our compilation of the most important productivity statistics you should know. To summarize, here are key points to note:
In spite of numerous challenges, global productivity levels are going on an upward trajectory.
Technology, seen by many as a solution, is proving to be a barrier to employee productivity. Most of the challenges employees face in their workplace are the results of technological innovations.
There is a dramatic shift in the way people work. Besides, the workplace has undergone a fundamental transformation, and the remote workforce is becoming prevalent.
Increasing employee engagement and improving communication can significantly boost productivity.
Workplace meetings are one of the leading obstacles to employee productivity.
With these in mind, it should be fairly easy for organizations to take the needed action to boost productivity. But first, you need to go back to square one. This means you have to understand what productivity is as an operational metric and know how to measure it. You can then drive alignment with employee remuneration and incentive models.
Aside from breaking this metric down, you should stay abreast of the momentous changes in the modern HR industry. Above all, you should implement the right software solutions to monitor employee productivity. This way, you will be positioned to wrestle with potential risks, disruptions, and other workforce upheavals that negatively impact productivity. If you want to maximize productivity, you might want to check out our list of the best productivity tools.
The 2019 employee engagement report. (2019). TINYpulse.
2019 state of employee communication and engagement study. (2019). Dynamic Signal.
Allan Jay is FinancesOnline’s resident B2B expert with over a decade of experience in the SaaS space. He has worked with vendors primarily as a consultant in the UX analysis and design stages, lending to his reviews a strong user-centric angle. A management professional by training, he adds the business perspective to software development. He likes validating a product against workflows and business goals, two metrics, he believes, by which software is ultimately measured.
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