5 Surprising Facts About Productivity in the Modern Workplace

By Mary Beth Rath| February 12, 2018

In today’s fast-paced business environment, workforce productivity is the new definition of corporate competitiveness. At its most basic level, this means companies that are able to derive more value for less time and effort are poised to succeed. Over the past decade, we’ve seen technology play a massive role in accelerating individual productivity, but are companies as a whole actually getting more productive?

These five productivity facts might surprise you…

The Realities of Productivity in the Modern Workplace

1. Productivity is NOT keeping pace with the technology boom

Not even close. Despite the massive increase in new tools and capabilities designed to make our lives easier, workforce productivity has only increased by 1-2%. This figure is hard to believe when you consider the number of tools the last ten years have given us. Then again, to equate productivity to the tools alone would be a mistake. In conjunction with new technology, a new kind of management and how we measure and optimize those gains is required.

2. Managers have ZERO AVAILABLE HOURS for uninterrupted work

Studies have shown that a typical manager in the mid-market dedicates 21 hours a week to meetings, and another 11 hours a week to managing email. When you add up the time required to switch between meetings, emails, notification, and alerts that are devoid of importance or context, the typical manager has zero available hours for uninterrupted work in a 40-hour work week. The very technology that makes it possible to communicate and work in a multitude of ways has also created a productivity-killing problem that’s often dubbed “communication overload.” To help mitigate this issue, tech giants like Microsoft are introducing new tools designed for the modern workforce, such as Yammer, Groups and Teams.

3. Collaboration Produces More Profitable Ideas

While tools for individual empowerment have increased, those designed to facilitate collaboration and teamwork should also be refined and developed. Teamwork is incredibly important to the modern business model. Ideas developed by teams of three or more people have 156% greater appeal with customers. Knowing this, it should follow that organizations are taking extra care to empower their teams and groups.

4. Teamwork is NOT encouraged or enabled

If teamwork isn’t facilitated, neither are your employees. We have technology that’s designed to facilitate and encourage teamwork by the terabyte! But, one of the top 5 reasons people leave their jobs is that organizations are not enabling teamwork. The benefits of good teamwork and collaboration (technology or not) are very hard to ignore. On the flipside, environments that are not conducive towards team productivity will see their top talent walking out the door.

5. Most collaborations come from a fraction of users

One third of value-added collaborations come from only 3-5% of employees! We have an arsenal of tools at our disposal for everyone to use, yet only a select few are delivering. It should be clear by now that something isn’t quite right in the way we’re approaching the use of productivity tools with our end-users. How can we change our approach to productivity in a way that will empower and appeal to our entire workforce, and not just a select few?

The workforce must be transformed to accommodate the challenges and opportunities of the Digital Age. In our Workforce Transformation blog series, we’ll explore the Four Ps of Workforce Transformation that are helping organizations overcome these challenges: Productivity, Platform, Protection, and People.


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