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The Latest Employee Productivity Statistics (Updated Q1 2024)

Do employee productivity statistics show staff are as productive as possible, or is there room fo...

J.R. Johnivan
Business and HR Tech Journalist
Contributing Experts
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Even the best managers sometimes struggle to maximize the productivity of their workers. Incentivizing day-to-day tasks is one way to tackle the issue, while technology such as time-tracking software, performance management systems, and employee monitoring tools help quantify team and individual productivity.

Is the modern workforce regularly outperforming expectations? Are managers happy with current levels of productivity, or are employee efforts falling short?

The employee productivity statistics we present below point to a workplace culture more concerned with being busy than productive.

In This Article

The 12 Most Important Employee Productivity Statistics

  • Studies into productivity found that checking communication channels (like Slack and email) and attending unimportant meetings are the most prevalent distractions reported by remote workers. If we can overcome these productivity barriers, the U.S. economy stands to gain $1.4 trillion.
  • After checking Slack or email, it takes a person over 23 minutes to regain focus on their primary task. Despite this, knowledge workers check their communication channels every six minutes, on average.
  • 80% of employees agree that a strong digital experience is a driving factor in the long-term success of their company.
  • Open-plan offices increase workplace stress by 25%.
  • 42% of employees admit to multitasking during staff meetings.
  • 87% of hybrid workers agree that they’re productive on a daily basis.
  • 85% of organizational leaders find it more challenging to gauge productivity in a hybrid work environment.
  • 43% of employees indicate that their company collects employee feedback on an annual basis.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) can boost productivity by almost 14%.
  • 49% of remote and hybrid workers report exhaustion due to the requirement of being on webcam during meetings.
  • 71% of organizational leaders feel pressure from executives to strengthen employee productivity.
  • An organization with 100 employees has an average of three worker absences per day, while a company with 500 workers has 15 daily absences.
Infographic depicting key employee productivity statistics.

How Does Employee Productivity Affect Profitability?

Generally speaking, managers serve as a bridge between the workforce and the company owner, CEO, or other executives. When it comes time for a manager to report on their team’s productivity, a significant consideration is how their output translates into profitability.

  • Globally, disengaged employees result in $8.8 trillion in lost productivity every year.
  • U.S. employers lose anywhere from $483 to $605 billion annually due to lost productivity.
  • On average, office employees are productive for under a third (31%) of their 8-hour workday.
  • 47% of workers cite checking their social media as their top distraction.
  • The second most prevalent distraction, cited by 45% of workers, is reading the news. The third, cited by 38% of workers, is making small talk with their co-workers.
  • Teams that are highly engaged are 23% more profitable than their disengaged counterparts.
  • Overall worker productivity has jumped by more than 60% since 1979.

How Does Job Satisfaction Affect Employee Productivity?

According to the old adage, happy workers are productive workers. These days there are plenty of solutions for keeping the workforce content, including employee recognition software.

But how (and to what extent) do employee experience and job satisfaction influence a person’s output? And, if the objective is improved productivity, what part does employee recognition play?

The Importance of Where We Work

  • 63% of current workers prefer a better work-life balance as opposed to better pay.
  • 64% of employees believe it’s easy to achieve the optimal work-life balance in a remote environment.
  • In an SSR survey, 30.20% of respondents said they would take a mediocre job over their dream opportunity if it meant they could live within two minutes of their workplace.
  • 65% would prefer to work 100% remotely.
  • 32% prefer to work in a hybrid workplace.
  • 45% of remote workers save at least $5,000 when compared to working in the office.
  • 84% believe that a remote or hybrid job would make them happier in their personal lives.
  • 77% believe that working from home helps them manage mental health issues.
  • 60% of employees feel that working from home has made them feel less connected to their co-workers.
  • 93% of remote workers agree that work-life boundaries are important.
A graph showing survey responses of employees who were asked whether video call makes them feel exhausted.

How Productive Are New Employees?

New employees are often given a grace period to acclimate themselves to their new role before their output is expected to be on par with seasoned colleagues. But what are fair managerial expectations regarding the lag between employee orientation and optimal productivity?

  • Companies with a positive structured onboarding program result in employees being 18 times more committed to the company and 38% more effective at their job.
  • 36% of employers don’t have any sort of structured onboarding process for new hires.
  • Only 12% of employees believe that their organization has an effective onboarding process.
  • Approximately 20% of employees had a poor employee onboarding experience (or none at all) for their current role.

Correlations Between Employee Engagement and Productivity

Employee engagement describes the connection felt between individual staff members and their day-to-day responsibilities, colleagues, and managers. Those who feel greater levels of engagement tend to experience higher productivity levels than those who are disengaged. However, this doesn’t paint a full picture of the relationship between employee engagement and productivity.

Graphs depicting the difference between how employees and managers perceive productivity.

Why Aren’t More Employees Engaged at Work?

  • 74% of managers agree that they don’t have the resources to make positive changes for their employees (for example, by investing in employee engagement software).
  • 54% of managers think that their leadership is out-of-touch with their staff.
  • In the drive to restore in-person work, 38% of hybrid employees don’t know when or why they should come into the office.
  • Microsoft reports a 252% increase in the weekly time spent attending meetings in their Teams service since early 2020.
  • 43% of organizational leaders agree that relationship-building is the biggest challenge in remote and hybrid work environments.

Does Employee Retention Affect Productivity?

Organizations with high turnover rates often find it difficult to meet quotas, deadlines, and obligations. Conversely, those who are able to retain talented workers are better equipped to minimize productivity losses.

  • Anywhere from 3 to 4.5 million workers quit their job each month.
  • It takes a new employee an estimated one to two years to reach the productivity of an existing employee.
  • Approximately 20% of all employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment which negates the cost and time associated with recruiting them.
  • 69% of workers are likely to stay with their company for three years after undergoing a positive and productive onboarding program.
  • Nearly 10 times as many people quit at their one-year mark of employment versus the five-year mark.
  • 79% of current employees are likely to look for a new job after experiencing just one bad day at work.
  • U.S. employers spend $2.9 million per day ($1.1 billion annually) looking for replacement employees
  • 63.3% of employers believe that it’s harder to retain employees than it is to hire new ones.
  • 81% of organizations agree that “turnover is a costly problem”.
  • 79.3% of small businesses say that turnover is detrimental to their organizational growth.
  • 78.6% of small businesses believe that turnover has a negative impact on day-to-day productivity.
  • States with the highest turnover rates include Kentucky (2.92%), Arizona (2.75%), and Tennessee (2.72%).
  • States with the lowest turnover rates include New York (1.21%), Connecticut (1.26%), and Massachusetts (1.27%).

Are Healthy Employees More Productive?

In theory, coming to work despite feeling unwell is good for company productivity, but presenteeism (when employees come to work instead of prioritizing their recovery) has proven to have a negative effect on productivity.

Sick workers affect productivity negatively. This is due to their own performance and absence, but also their effect on the productivity and attendance of their colleagues in the case of contagious health issues such as the flu. Generally speaking, to achieve optimal productivity, employee health is critical.

  • Chronic health problems, including obesity, cost employers more than $150 billion annually.
  • Obese and overweight men miss an average of 56% more workdays per year than their normal-weight counterparts, while obese women miss 53% more than their normal-weight counterparts.
  • Installing ergonomic workstations in the workplace can improve some lean processes by up to 27%.
  • 53% of employees are less productive when their workspace is too cold, while 71% are less productive when the workspace is too warm.
  • Employees who maintain unhealthy diets are 66% more likely to suffer from productivity loss.
  • Workers who don’t exercise on a regular basis are 96% more likely to suffer from productivity loss.
  • Employees who aren’t thriving at their job experience a 61% higher likelihood of burnout, 48% higher likelihood of daily stress, and 66% higher likelihood of daily worry.
  • Only approximately 25% of American workers believe that their organization cares about their health and wellbeing.
  • 40% of U.S. adults reported that “high” or “moderate” stress levels are a regular distraction at work.
  • 41% of employees believe that stress makes them less productive, while 33% believe that it makes them less engaged.

What Does Productivity Look Like in the United States?

Approximately 60% of the U.S. population was employed between 1990 and 2022, but how many of them were considered highly productive? And, given the barriers to productivity we’ve discussed, what are employers doing to help them reach optimal levels of output?

A graph depicting rates of employee productivity in the U.S. by industry.

What Does Productivity Look Like Around the World?

Most of the statistics presented thus far center on employers and employees within the United States. However, our nation only comprises a small slice of the global workforce. What does productivity look like in other countries? Do other companies use the same benchmarks to measure productivity, or do they use different methods?

  • Globally, approximately 85 million jobs could go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers by 2030.
  • In the consumer services sector, quit rates in retail, accommodation, and food services are 26% higher than the US national average.
  • 50% of global workers are productive for less than five hours per day.
  • U.S. workers are 10% more productive than those in the U.K.
  • 73% of employees report using social media at work, which costs employers an average of 47 minutes per day in lost productivity.
  • The country of Luxembourg is recognized as having the highest labor productivity rates in the world, followed by Ireland, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Singapore, Norway, and the U.S.

Productivity and the Modern Workforce

Given the easy access to technology, the modern workforce is more productive than ever before.

Our expectations of productivity have seen some ups and downs during recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of remote work, and the rapid evolution of AI technology. However, today’s workers are adaptable, dedicated, and capable of using technology to maximize productivity on a day-to-day basis.

J.R. Johnivan
Business and HR Tech Journalist
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Combining a lifelong love of technology and the written word, J.R. is constantly balancing traditional arts with next-gen breakthroughs and advancements. With 30-plus years of experience working with computers and IT of all kinds, including over a decade of reviewing HR software, he caters to audiences all around the globe from his quaint home in West Michigan.

Featured in: project-management.com

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