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productive office environment
March 30, 2023

Did you know these 7 facts about employee productivity?

The performance of a company is highly dependent on its employees and how they work, so it should come as no surprise that there is a lot of information out there about employee productivity.


However, as is the case with most topics, there are numerous unsupported rumours about employee productivity that have made the rounds throughout the business world. For example, we’ve all heard the claim that waking up early automatically makes you more successful, or that employees who prefer to work from home are lazier and therefore less productive. Now, we know that this isn’t true. Productivity can be impacted by hundreds of different factors, including employee wellbeing, the tools you provide, or even the layout of your office!


The good news is, the more you’re aware about the various factors that has an influence on your team, the more you can do to increase productivity and build a stronger company! So keep reading for our top seven employee productivity facts below, they might just surprise you!


Office set up employee productivity
Source: Yaasa EN

Your office set up can make or break productivity 


As expected, how your office is laid out can have a huge impact on the way we work. And it’s not just about the floor plan either! There are many environmental factors that have a subtle effect on how productive you are.


  • Open plan offices led to a 32% drop in overall well-being and a 15% reduction in productivity.
  • 70% of people said listening to music while they work makes them more productive. 
  • Over half of survey respondents revealed they are less productive when working in an office that is too cold, approximately seven out of ten say they are less productive when their work environment is too warm!


Employees looking bored in a meeting
Source: BBC

Meetings are a productivity killer


As it turns out, meetings are not as efficient as we once believed. That’s not to say they’re not important, but as the below statistics will show – there can be too much of a good thing!


  • 71% of professionals waste time every week due to unnecessary meetings.
  • 31 hours are spent on unproductive meetings every month.
  • 50% of respondents from one survey considered meetings to be a big reason behind unproductive days.


There are several reasons for this, whether it’s because there are too many unnecessary people in the meeting, talking about tasks outside of the meeting agenda, or having meetings for activities that can be handled over email. Don’t get us wrong, when done right, meetings can be extremely resultful! But in order to have more successful and productive meetings, it’s best to set a clear agenda prior to the meeting, keep the meeting short, and carefully consider who is and isn’t needed to join the meeting before sending a mass invite out to your whole team.


Source: The Flexible Professional

Employees are typically most productive on Tuesdays!


According to a survey by Accountemps, over one third of working professionals said that their energy and drive is highest on Tuesday, followed by Monday.


But what is it that has made Tuesday such a successful workday? If you think about it, the weekend gives people a chance to rest and reenergize. Whilst Monday acts as a kind-of restarter for the work week for you to get caught up on emails and to-do items, Tuesday is when employees officially feel most committed to work again. So if you have an important project to tackle, plan to get it done on a Tuesday.


Meanwhile, Friday has been (predictably) dubbed the least productive day of the week, probably because most people have mentally clocked out in anticipation of the weekend! One thing to note is that this statistic is meant for people with a Monday to Friday work week rather than people who work part-time or have alternate work schedules.


When done right, remote and flexible can boost productivity


Remote work has become a prominent part of our lives in the past few years. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, remote and flexible work was rising, but is it conducive to work? We’ll let the stats do the talking for this one:


  • According to a Remote Collaborative Worker Survey by CoSo Cloud, 77% of employees reported greater productivity while working off site.
  • Another survey by Condeco found that over two-thirds of global business leaders surveyed said flexible working had a positive impact on productivity.


Source: Forbes

Multitasking doesn’t actually save you time


Contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn’t actually make you more efficient, because the way our brains are wired means that we can’t truly focus on more than one task at a time!


In fact, a study by the University of Sussex discovered that trying to multitask increases your stress levels and can reduce productivity by as much as 40%! Rather than try to do several tasks at once, it’s best to do work with a step-by-step process or schedule different tasks in time slots throughout the day.


Longer work weeks ≠ more work done


Numerous studies have shown that after the 40 hour mark, work output decreases by 50%. As matter of fact, new studies are finding that the average worker is only productive for about three hours during an eight-hour workday! Some companies like Microsoft Japan are making strides to experiment with shorter work-weeks, which in turn resulted in an increase in employee productivity thanks to employees using the time they had more effectively. However, many companies still expect employees to work over 40 hours a week. Fingers crossed they read this article and reduce the required number of working hours for employees!


Happy employees
Source: The Financial Bin

Treating your employees well will supercharge productivity


Time and time again, data has proven that happy and well-rested employees are motivated and productive employees. Workplace stress and burnout can have a very significant effect on output, as indicated by the following statistics:

  • Workplace stress such as tight deadlines or sudden changes in the workplace environment can cause a 5% decrease in productivity rates.
  • One of the effects of stress is insomnia, which in turn can affect productivity. One America insomnia survey found that the average worker loses up to 11 productive days every year due to bad sleep. If you want to talk money, a Harvard study suggests this could cost companies up to US $65 billion a year!


The gist of all of this is to say that companies should make employee well-being a priority. And it can be easily done with a few steps:

  • Don’t enforce ridiculous deadlines
  • Consider flexible work policies
  • Listen to employee concerns and address issues as needed
  • Enforce vacation time
  • Celebrate achievements
  • Provide unique employee perks


Have you got any other facts or tips for improving employee productivity?


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