25 Essential Productivity Statistics for 2020

The secret to productivity lies in committing to excellence, intelligent planning of resources, and smart business ventures. However, keeping employees busy as bees does not necessarily make them more productive. Humans, unlike bees, come with distractions. In fact, employees are only productive 60% of the time spent in the workspace. 

Idle, ill-directed and ineffective employees cost money, and it is an employer’s job to make sure they are appropriately motivated and engaged. Productivity statistics offer a peek into an employee’s perspective of the work process. Scroll down to get a better understanding of what it takes to build an environment of value empowered by active and efficient employees. 

Productivity Stats 101 (Editor’s Choice)

  • The average breadwinner is productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes. 
  • Freelancers spend 36 hours a week productively. 
  • Companies with engaged employees are 17% more productive. 
  • Internet usage in the workplace accounts for а 40% loss of productivity.
  • Happiness in the workspace boosts productivity by 12%.
  • 85% of employees unproductively spend up to two hours searching for work-related information.
  • 91% of staffers daydream at meetings.
  • Workplace stress costs employers approximately $500 billion.
  • Work overload decreases productivity by 68%.
  • Working from home increases employee productivity by 14%.

How productive is the average worker?

1. The average breadwinner is productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes.

Productivity research shows that out of an 8-hour shift the average worker is only productive for less than three hours. Other interesting observations point out that workers spend 1 hour and 5 minutes reading news, 44 minutes on social media and—believe it or not—26 minutes fishing for a new job. And mind you, all this is during working hours.

(Small Business Association of Michigan)

2. Freelancers spend 36 hours a week productively.

Work productivity statistics reveals that freelancers are a group of highly productive employees because they dominate every single aspect of their workplace. They are at liberty to structure their work-related commitments depending on their preference which optimizes their efficiency rates.

(Career Metis)

3. Talented employees are eight times more productive than the average.

High-performing employees bring talent, engagement, and wisdom to the table. These attributes make superior talent 400% more productive than the average employee. Productivity stats on top-performing employees go up as high as 800% because they are not only highly efficient but deliver quality when it comes to complex jobs.


4. Employees are interrupted every three minutes.

Interruptions affect workplace productivity a great deal. The average employee is interrupted every three minutes. And it takes 23 minutes for productive workers to get back on track and complete the task they started working on. 

(Small Business Association of Michigan)

How many hours do employees actually work? 

5. Productive employees do not work the full eight-hour shift.

Some 10% of the most productive staffers work less than eight hours a day. Top performers usually take an approximate 20-minute break for every hour. Such compelling insights are the reason why Sweden decided to experiment with introducing a six-hour workday.

(Small Business Association of Michigan, Replicon)

6. The average US worker works 8.8 hours a day.

The average hard-working American spends over eight hours a day at work. Workplace productivity studies show Americans like to waste their employers’ assets on various activities totally unrelated to their jobs. Workplace productivity statistics, for example, picture Americans spending 40 minutes on discussing topics unrelated to work, 23 minutes on smoke breaks, and 18 minutes on the phone with friends/partners. Surprisingly, making food and eating snacks takes them only 15 minutes. 


What are the key elements of productivity?

7. Highly engaged employees are two times more productive.

Employee engagement plays a vital role in the workplace. Productivity research indicates that organizations with highly engaged workers have double the average productivity rate. In fact, the productivity rate of engaged employees could go as high as 38%. 

(Connect Solutions)

8. Companies with engaged employees are 17% more productive.

Higher employee engagement makes companies more productive. What is more, engaged employees have a 27% chance of demonstrating outstanding performance, scaling up customer retention rates. Productivity statistics further indicate that companies with engaged teams outperform companies with disengaged teams by 202%.

(Dynamic Signal, Learning Hub)

9. Productive employees take fewer sick days.

Employee productivity is closely related to how often employees take sick days and the duration of the sick leave. Obviously, employees who do not attend work cannot be productive. Companies operating with highly engaged employees report that an average employee takes 2.5 sick days a year while others report an average of more than six sick days.

(Connect Solutions)

10. Sleep-deprived employees cost $63 billion a year.

According to worker productivity statistics, one-third of US workers aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation in the workspace is bad for business since zombie-like workers cannot be productive and efficient when it matters most. Besides, workers who are sleep-deprived cost businesses billions a year in lost productivity.

(The Wall Street Journal)

Read more: Team Stage


Small Business Association of Michigan, Career Metis, McKinsey, Replicon , Inc. ,Connect Solutions ,Dynamic Signal , Learning Hub , The Wall Street Journal , Forbes , Connect Solutions ,On the Clock , Atlassian ,EmailAnalytics

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