Productivity Statistics: Key Elements in 2024

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. 

Top 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.

2. Freelancers spend 36 hours a week productively.

Work productivity statistics reveal 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.

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. 

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.

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 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%. 

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%.

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.

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.

11. Internet usage in the workplace accounts for a 40% decline in productivity.

Approximately 60% of workers openly admit they use the internet on the clock for activities such as stock trading, sports watching, online shopping, etc. These non-work-related activities, as internet usage at work statistics demonstrate, reduce staff productivity almost by half.

12. Employees are less productive in the summer.

53% of employees who call it a day early on Fridays report reduced personal productivity, while 23% compensate for working less on Fridays with longer working hours during the week. On the other hand, summer also brings a loss of productivity with attendance rates falling by 19%. 

13. Happiness in the workspace boosts productivity by 20%.

As popular opinion would have it, happy employees are more productive. And newest happiness and productivity at work statistics provide evidence to prove it. One-fifth of happy employees are also productive employees. Happy shop assistants, for example, have 37% higher sales than their unhappy colleagues. 

14. Employers pay a high productivity price due to lack of talent.

A total of 38% of employers complain that qualified staff shortage affects their productivity, statistics on productivity in the workplace show.

Employee engagement statistics indicate the majority of employees become disengaged when employers do not provide them with appropriate training. In the end, employers not only lose the $5,000 earnings by productive employees but an additional $12,000 a year to cover for their less productive staff.

15. 85% of employees unproductively spend up to two hours searching for work-related information.

Keeping employees well informed is of the utmost importance to their productivity. Teams belonging to organizations with a strong corporate culture demonstrate 25% higher productivity, as per productivity statistics.

An organization that does not put its employees in a position of losing precious working hours to look up for information, is most certainly thriving. 

16. US companies spend $37 billion in salaries for unnecessary meetings.

Could meetings be a waste of company resources? Employees believe half of all meetings are a waste of their time. A total of 45% of workers say their meeting calendars are overbooked and this makes them feel overwhelmed and frustrated, employee productivity statistics conclude.

But honestly, who can blame them? They spend a total of 31 hours a month on unproductive meetings. 

17. 91% of staffers daydream at meetings.

Meetings are good for information exchange, decision-making, and problem-solving in the workplace. But are all meetings productive?

It turns out that an astonishingly high percentage of workers daydream in meetings. 73% are doing non-work-related things, 39% say they have slept, and a staggering 93% say they actually miss meetings. 

18. Workplace stress costs employers approximately $500 billion.

The effects of stress in the workplace can be disastrous, and not just for the organization but for employees’ productivity as well. Stress and productivity statistics show that around 1 million employees stay at home due to stress.

The cost of employees being absent from the workplace due to stress is around $600 per worker on a yearly basis.

19. Work overload decreases productivity by 68%.

Many employees are barely managing to finish their job commitments on time which leaves them frustrated and unproductive. Considering the average employee checks their email 36 times within an hour, it is no wonder they are struggling.

According to productivity statistics, employees are losing precious time to refocus, which results in a lack of productivity.

20. Poor communication disrupts average worker productivity.

A whopping 86% of professionals agree that poor communication is the reason for failing workspace productivity. 74% of staffers feel disconnected because vital company information does not reach them.

In fact, improving communication in the workspace boosts productivity rates by 20 to 25%. Ineffective communication is also the main reason why 63% of employees consider resigning.

21. Exercising makes employees more productive.

Physical activity contributes to fighting stress, depression, and exhaustion. Exercise and work productivity statistics offer additional proof that healthy employees are productive employees.

Exercising before coming in for work not only increases productivity by 15% but also extends the duration of an employee’s productivity peaks. 

22. Stellar onboarding processes increase employee productivity by an astonishing 70%.

Onboarding processes are the promises an organization makes to its staff. Naturally, workers count on employers to keep their promises. Employee retention statistics provide some compelling data on how a solid onboarding process can positively impact both employee retention and employee productivity.

23. Working from home increases employee productivity by 14%.

A solid 43% of employees have at some point been offered the opportunity to work from home for a certain period. Working from home productivity statistics demonstrate that almost one-fifth of remote employees not only deliver excellent job performance but take fewer sick days.

Another plus side to working from the comfort of one’s home is that it makes 24% of employees happier.

24. 60% of millennials believe work schedule flexibility makes them more productive.

Flexibility at work means having the luxury of managing time as one pleases and 60% of millennials in the workplace are all for it. Another plus side is that it scales up labor productivity.

An employee who is given the freedom to work when they feel most productive will most certainly be more efficient. Flexibility also helps eliminate distractions and multitasking. According to multitasking productivity statistics, productivity drops by 40% when multitasking. 

25. Telecommuters are better performers than office employees.

Teleworking is on the rise. For the past 10 years, jobs in these sectors have jumped by 115%. 82% of telecommuters feel less stressed and are 52% less inclined to take days off and on top of it all, make $4,000 more than their office-bound colleagues.

Telecommuting productivity statistics highlight another benefit of being a telecommuter: 77% report that workplace flexibility improves their performance by 13%.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between production and productivity?

Production entails creation, growth, manufacturing, and ultimately quantities. Productivity, on the other hand, refers to the efficiency of the production process. Productivity is the quantitative connection between what is produced and what is used as a resource in the production process. 

What are the different types of productivity?

By definition, productivity is the output and input volume ratio. In more simple terms, productivity measures the performance and expertise of the labor or capital as a production input and how they are used to produce an output unit of a certain value. The four types of productivity are:

  • Labor productivity or input per person;
  • Capital productivity or output (goods or services);
  • Material productivity or the ratio of output to the input of natural resources;
  • Total Factor Productivity (TFP) measures all that is not included in the above three (such as general knowledge, organizational structure, management techniques).

Which country has the highest productivity rate?

It turns out Luxembourg is where the magic happens. The diligent people of this small country work an average of 30 hours a week. Interestingly, coworking statistics also pinpoint this place as the land with the highest number of shared offices in the world. It is perhaps the existence of coworking spaces that creates such big numbers for such a small country. 

Which country has the lowest productivity rate in the world?

Mexico ranks as the country with the lowest productivity rate in the world. Although Mexicans are extremely hard-working and tend to work long hours, the productivity rate of the country, in general, is very low at $18.5 GDP per hour. This is yet another proof that long working hours do not necessarily mean high productivity levels. 


It appears the war for talent is not the only war employers are fighting. Productivity statistics unveil the silent battle raging on the labor front and raise the alarm on what needs to be done to come out victorious. And it is not just about managing time. So, start with the hand-picked staff, present them with the code of the company, arm them with good means of communication, and make sure they don’t take their eyes off the ball. 


McKinseyRepliconInc.Dynamic SignalLearning HubThe Wall Street JournalForbesOn the ClockAtlassianEmailAnalytics