Half of employees don't know what productivity is

Half of employees don't know what productivity is

Seven in ten employees feel pressure from their bosses to be more productive - but almost one in two do not fully comprehend the term.

Only 55% of office workers completely understand what productivity means, according to research by PageGroup.

Perhaps contributing to their lack of understanding is lack of execution - with only a third (35%) saying their working day is always productive.

However, ambitions were not waned, as 78% said they wanted to be more productive than they are, with over one in four (27%) wanting to increase productivity levels significantly.

The most popular definitions chosen by respondents were finishing all tasks within their deadlines (37%), and getting all their work done within working hours (26%).

The inability to meet deadlines saw 86% admit that they work out of contracted hours, with 39% doing so often or always.

34% of respondents said that they spent a third of their time at work on emails or work phone calls, and 29% on meeting deadlines and attending meetings.

Possibly accounting for hindering productivity was a lack of motivation, as only ten per cent of an employee’s working day was dedicated to learning new things or brainstorming new ideas.

Oliver Watson, PageGroup’s Executive Board Director for UK & North America, comments: “The results highlight the need for businesses to provide a clearer definition of productivity in order to help employees achieve it. The majority of respondents cited unsubstantial or no training at all. As businesses, we constantly drive our employees to be more productive, but many are not currently demonstrating how to get there or what the final destination looks like. The result is potentially endless cycles of unproductivity with no clear goals or objectives.

He added: “While a focus on productivity is understandable, employers should consider how much they prioritise productivity over other areas, like innovation. The majority (65%) of office workers feel that innovation falls lower on a business’s agenda than productivity, which should be of particular concern for businesses whose success depends on innovation and forward-thinking.”

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