When employees are most (and least) productive

by L&D01 Jul 2016
Do you sleep well and work in a quiet office? If the answer is yes, then chances are you’re a very productive employee.

Workers were also found to be most productive on a Tuesday, when they are offered flexible working arrangements, between 9-11 am, and when they have a to-do list.

On the other hand, they were the least productive on a Friday, when they have had a lack of sleep, between 3-5pm, when they work in a loud environment and when they waste time talking to colleagues.

The Conference Genie study also found that the older the worker, the more productive they said they were.

The 18-24-year olds gave themselves the lowest productivity rating, while those over 55 rated themselves with the highest productivity.

The survey involved 2000 UK employees who worked from home or in an office.

Interestingly, the results also showed that productivity differed by sector:
  • Marketing, advertising and PR – 62% stated that music has a positive effort on their productivity.
  • Accountancy, banking and the finance sector – more than a fifth are more productive when they exercise regularly.
  • Public services sector – 37% are more productive if they’re happy with their wage or salary.
  • Education sector – 44% feel that they’re less productive when there are many meetings scheduled.
  • Hospitality or events sector – nearly half feel the most productive on a Monday.
  • Energy and utility sector – 85% waste time at work, with half of these spending their time procrastinating on their phone.
  • Engineering and manufacturing – 62% admit to wasting time at work with half of them online shopping during working hours.
Across all sectors, 46% of those who said they waste time at work do this through talking to colleagues.

L&D Professional recently reported the results of another study that suggested open-plan offices resulted in noisier offices which harmed productivity.

The Oxford Economics Survey reported that 74% of participants said they worked in open-plan offices, and more than half of the total workers complained about noise.

“Noise and distraction have a big impact on productivity,” said Edward Cone, deputy director of Thought Leadership and Technology Practice Lead at Oxford Economics.
“These are issues that companies can address – but first they need to acknowledge the problem.”

Related stories:

Are open-plan offices bad for productivity?

How your workplace can harm your brain function