20 Startling Productivity Statistics Companies Have to Know

Nowadays, many companies are attempting to devise creative strategies to increase employee engagement. As a result, keeping track of productivity statistics has gained popularity in recent years.

But what exactly is productivity? It’s a measure of economic performance that is calculated by comparing the number of goods and services produced (i.e., outputs) with the number of inputs used to create those goods and services.

For example, workplace productivity is measured according to the output of a worker per hour. Employers monitor these numbers mainly to discover the best ways to create a productive working environment with minimum investment.

The Key Productivity Stats (Editor’s Choice)

  • Companies with engaged employees are 17% more productive.
  • Work overload can decrease productivity by 68%.
  • Engaged employees are more productive, resulting in a 21% increase in profits.
  • The average global worker productivity in 2021 was 63.72%.
  • The top 10% of productive employees don’t work the entire eight-hour shift.
  • Two-thirds of employees say prolonged meetings hinder their productivity.
  • Productivity loss due to email spam costs businesses around $20.5 billion a year.
  • 85% of employees spend almost two hours of their working time searching for work-related information.

US Workplace Productivity Statistics

While the nonfarm business sector is experiencing a drop in the national average productivity this year, certain industries, such as coal mining, are seeing a significant rise. Below are some workplace productivity figures related to different industry sectors in the US.

1. The majority of the US workforce (51%) is not engaged. 

(Gallup)

Over half of US employees are indifferent towards their jobs, negatively impacting the US productivity rate. Another 16% of workers are actively disengaged, directly affecting what the engaged employees create. On the other hand, companies that excel in engaging their workers achieve four times greater earnings-per-share growth than their competitors.

2. Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 7.3% in the first quarter of 2022.

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

After a lot of turbulence in recent years, the first quarter of 2022 has brought a negative percentage change in productivity in the nonfarm business sector. The output decreased by 2.3%, and the number of working hours went up by 5.4%, resulting in a 7.3% decrease in productivity.

3. Engaged employees are 17% more productive.

(Gallup)

Engaged workers tend to be 17% more productive, directly affecting the company’s profits (a 21% increase) and sales (a 20% increase). On the flipside, estimates show that employee disengagement costs the US $483–$605 billion in lost productivity yearly.

4. The United States productivity rate rose in 47 of the 86 manufacturing industries in 2021.

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The railroad rolling stock industry recorded the most significant increase in productivity (20.6%). In addition, four out of five industries in the mining sector reported a surge in productivity, the most notable being in the coal mining industry (18.3%). On the other hand, the largest productivity decline was observed in the tobacco and beverage products industry (15.5%).

Productivity Rates by Country and Worldwide

Unfortunately, the average worker’s productivity worldwide has declined since the start of the pandemic. However, many other factors such as work overload or the frequency of breaks also play a role in how productive employees are. Let’s look at some of the most relevant workplace productivity numbers around the world.

5. Uruguay was the most productive country in the world in 2021.

(DeskTime)

2021 data shows that four Latin American countries, Uruguay, El Salvador, Argentina, and Peru, are the top most productive globally. The highest labor productivity growth rate was observed in Uruguay (94.3%), while El Salvador ranked second with 93%. 

6. At 45.4%, Russia had the lowest workplace productivity score in 2021.

(DeskTime)

Russia had the lowest average productivity in the world in 2021 (45.4%). The second and the third place belong to Portugal and Moldova, both with a rate of 49.5%. Considering that the lowest productivity rate in 2020 was 23.4% (Suriname), it seems that 2021 has helped most countries stand up to their feet, showing similar figures to those from the pre-pandemic years.

7. The average global worker productivity in 2021 was 63.72%.

(DeskTime)

It seems that global productivity at work is still affected by the turmoil caused by COVID-19. According to employee productivity statistics, even though the average productivity worldwide was 63.72% in 2021, it still represented a 9.66% decrease from the 2020 average.

8. Productive employees take fewer sick days.

(Connect Solutions)

The employees’ attendance at work is directly related to their productivity. For example, recent data shows that highly engaged workers take only 2.5 sick days per year, while others take an average of six sick days.

9. The top 10% of productive employees do not work the entire eight-hour shift.

(DeskTime)

According to DeskTime’s personal productivity statistics, the most productive employees take regular breaks during working hours. The data shows that taking a 17-minute break after a 52-minute working period rests your mind and results in increased concentration. This method, called “purposeful working,” is actually a variation of the well-known Pomodoro technique, where people take 5-minute breaks every 25 minutes.

10. Work overload decreases employee productivity by 68%.

(Cornerstone)

Constant stressing about the amount of work completed decreases employee productivity by 68%. In addition, 47% of workers claim technology overload prevents them from being productive, while 46% add information overload as another reason.

Working from Home Productivity Statistics

With the rising popularity of remote work settings, employers have become more interested in providing home office options to their employees. However, this does not imply that such options will completely replace office work in the future. Keep reading to find out how productivity correlates with the benefits of remote working.

11. Remote workers have around 30% lower unproductive working time than office workers.

(Airtasker)

Productivity data shows that an average person working from home spends 27 minutes a day unproductively, while those working in the office waste around 37 minutes, lunch and standard break times excluded. Moreover, remote workers also work 1.4 more days a month than office workers.

12. 82% of telecommuters experience less stress than office workers.

(PGi, Salary Finance)

Companies lose roughly $500 billion annually due to productivity declines caused by work-related stress. Luckily, remote work has given telecommuters a way to avoid most of the worries of the traditional workplace. According to telecommuting productivity statistics, four out of five people claim they feel less stress while working at home than at the office.

13. 94% of employers reported the same or higher productivity after switching to remote work during the pandemic.

(FlexJobs)

Many companies turned to remote work when the pandemic started. According to a survey from 2020, 67% of business owners claimed their business productivity hadn’t changed, while 27% reported a higher productivity growth rate since they switched to working from home.

14. 54% of people felt more productive while working remotely during the pandemic.

(Forbes)

Around 1,000 remote workers participated in a survey measuring productivity per hour over 18 months between 2020 and 2021. More than half of the participants claimed they felt more productive during the COVID-19 pandemic than before. Moreover, another 36% said their productivity was unaffected while working from home. 

Worker Productivity Statistics — Fun Facts

Even though the change of pace and workplace environment created new issues for employees and employers, job satisfaction and feedback still play essential roles in worker productivity. Moreover, statistics have shown that smartphones and prolonged meetings are among the biggest hindrances to employee productivity. Keep reading to discover some miscellaneous yet significant facts.

15. Workers receiving recognition are 4.6 times more productive.

(Forbes)

A comparison of happiness and productivity at work statistics shows that employees receiving recognition for their achievements and regular feedback from their superiors were 4.6 times more productive than those who lacked such engagement from their leaders. In addition, 96% of workers think empathy between employees and employers plays a crucial role in employee retention and productivity.

16. Multitasking reduces workers’ productivity by 40%.

(Forbes)

If we consider recent multitasking productivity statistics, bragging about multitasking abilities might no longer be a part of a desirable employee’s resume. Studies have shown that multitasking slows workers down and increases stress, reducing their productivity by 40%.

17. 85% of employees spend up to two hours searching for work-related information.

(Firstup, McKinsey & Company)

Four out of five employees spend one or two hours of their working time searching for work-related information, i.e., not actually being productive. According to organization and productivity statistics, companies that incorporate knowledge-sharing social tools demonstrate 25% higher employee productivity. That way, the workers don’t lose time since the organization makes the necessary data readily available.

18. Loss in productivity because of email spam costs businesses around $20.5 billion a year. 

(Nexa Learning)

Emails are an integral part of modern business because they facilitate business operations. Spam emails, however, are doing quite the opposite. 

As per email productivity statistics, approximately 14.5 billion spam emails are sent daily, costing businesses around $20.5 billion a year. Moreover, estimates show that employees spend 90 minutes every day switching back to work after email interruptions.

19. 52% of employees are distracted by smartphones.

(CareerBuilder)

A CareerBuilder survey lists the most common distractions in the workplace. According to its productivity statistics, more than half of workers use smartphones while working, and 44% surf the internet. Additionally, 36% check their social media, while 31% are distracted by emails. On the other hand, employers say that gossipping accounts for 37% of workplace distractions.

20. 67% of employees believe long meetings hinder their productivity.

(Otter, Cleverism)

Although meetings are important for the regular workflow of any business, they can also be time-consuming. Meeting productivity statistics show that two-thirds of all meetings are complete failures in terms of serving their purpose. Moreover, unnecessary meetings in the US waste around $37 billion every year.

In addition, 67% of employees complain that prolonged meetings prevent them from being productive at the workplace, and 35% believe they spend 2–5 hours on calls and meetings that don’t provide any value.

Productivity Statistics — Final Words

Modern times have shown that the human element is crucial in increasing workplace productivity. While it is essential for every company to create profit, its management should also show care toward its employees in terms of job flexibility, happiness, and feedback. Providing support and compassion to employees and treating them with respect increases job satisfaction, which results in a better working environment and higher productivity.

Productivity Stats — FAQ