6 Most Important Takeaways From 20 of the Biggest Productivity Studies

When it comes to productivity levels, most people have their ups and downs. And that’s completely normal. Especially when we take into account the fact that productivity is hugely impacted by a variety of factors like internal motivation and digital adoption.

However, it is also true that organizational success hugely depends on employee efficiency and engagement.

Survey data shows that the annual cost of low productivity adds up to a whopping $1.8 trillion a year. Knowing this, it quickly becomes evident that boosting performance is a must for any company looking to thrive.

Are you a small business owner or manager looking to support your team and help them do better work? This article looks at some of the biggest productivity studies and surveys, giving you data-based takeaways to build effective strategies for increasing output quantity and quality.

Employee Well-Being = Thriving Company Performance

Results of Employee wellbeing

One of the most important things you must understand about improving productivity levels is that it’s directly related to your employees’ well-being.

In fact, a survey from the Great Place To Work® Institute revealed that organizations whose employees are happy tend to perform more than three times better than their competitors.

But even if your goals don’t include tripling your revenue or stock market value, investing in employee experience genuinely pays off.

According to Gallup, people who are thriving outperform colleagues who are struggling or suffering. In fact, when your workers are miserable (even when they display high engagement rates at work), it is significantly more likely that your team will experience burnout. They’ll inevitably worry, stress, and report feelings of sadness and anger.

Of course, managers and business owners can’t (and shouldn’t) attempt to fix their employees’ personal lives. However, according to the biggest productivity studies, there is a lot that leaders can do to support workers to improve their well-being and boost their efficacy.

Also read: The Complete Guide To Employee Health And Wellbeing Strategy

Physical and Mental Health Must Come First

According to a 2019 scientific report, meaningful increases in employee well-being yield, on average, a 10% productivity increase. So, to boost employee productivity, pay attention to your team’s health and happiness.

  • Productivity studies show that people who get 5 to 6 hours of sleep achieve 19% lower productivity levels than those who get the recommended 7 to 8 hours per night.
  • Nutrition can also be impactful. The consensus is that both blood sugar and micronutrient levels affect efficiency, showing just how important it is for your team to take breakfast and lunch seriously and choose whole, micronutrient-rich foods instead of eating takeout at their desk.
  • In a recent study, HBR revealed that physical activity leads to better sleep quality, higher energy levels, and improved task focus. And seeing how these factors significantly impact job performance and creativity, it’s easy to see there’s a link.
  • Mental health also has tremendous implications for organizational productivity. A 2022 critical review of available literature found clear evidence that poor mental health (manifested as depression or anxiety) is directly correlated with lost productivity.

There are many different ways of helping your team achieve maximum health. You could focus on providing healthy office snacks. Or you could organize team-building activities that promote movement — paddleboarding is a great workout, for example. And the best thing is that by doing any of these things, you can influence your workforce to take better care of themselves without making it feel like a chore.

Also read: Wellbeing At Work – The Remote Edition [Infographic]

Flexibility Is the Name of the Game

work flexibility

The State of Remote Work 2022 report from OwlLabs is one of the more recent productivity studies revealing that flexibility is one of the key contributors to better work performance.

According to the research, 62% of people feel more productive when working from home. The location allows them to: 

But flexibility is not just about staying home and doing loads of laundry between Zoom meetings. 

An increasing number of young professionals are interested in exploring new flexible work modes. For instance, a recent survey discovered that 53% of Americans would be interested in taking a workcation — that is, to work from a holiday location.

The great news is that this is a relatively easy concession to make. Primarily, this is thanks to the wide availability of both hybrid business tools. Plus, international travel doesn’t have to be painfully expensive anymore either — you can now use tools like Google Flights to find cheap tickets

So, if you can support your employees in making their dream of living in Italy for a summer come true, why not do it? After all, data from the biggest productivity studies shows that happy people make for productive employees. So that’s a win-win.

Experiments Show That Less May Be More

Finally, when it comes to helping employees thrive, it’s essential to remember that working a lot doesn’t necessarily equal getting a lot done.

In fact, the 2023 report from 4 Day Week Global revealed that out of the 2,900 UK workers surveyed: 

  • 39% felt less stressed.
  • 71% had reduced levels of burnout.
  • 54% saw improvements in their work-life balance.
  • Company revenue rose, on average, by 1.4%.

These findings show that policies such as mandatory PTO or even just encouraging your team to use their vacation time can positively affect performance. 

In a recent article, HBR pointed out that just ten extra hours of time off improved employee year-end performance by 8%. Moreover, workers who used all their vacation time were more likely to get a promotion and less likely to quit their jobs.

Also read: Employee Happiness: 12 Ways To Keep Employees Happy

Embracing Technology Is More Than Just Being Trendy

Embracing Technology

In a world where new software solutions pop up daily, the idea of using technology to boost productivity may seem gimmicky. Because, yes, a new tool could improve a team’s output by 10% or 15%. But when there’s a steep learning curve involved, it can seem like the gains are not worth the effort.

Nonetheless, if you look at one of the biggest studies about tech and AI, you’ll find that these tools hold a lot of potential for improving productivity.

In fact, the Opportunities of Artificial Intelligence report published in 2020 found that one of the primary anticipated impacts of AI would be a 37% increase in labor productivity by 2035. Moreover, the implementation of AI and ML in organizations would drive innovation and growth. And contrary to naysayers’ beliefs, it would also create new jobs (instead of robots taking them over from humans).

So, what does this mean for leaders trying to support their employees in boosting productivity levels? The main takeaway is that future-oriented organizations must make it their mission to discover and use helpful tools to support their (human) workers in achieving exceptional results.

And the great thing is that there are numerous small and easy-to-implement ways to employ tech to drive productivity. From consulting interactive informational resources like the stocks chart from MarketBeat to signing up for services like Setapp, teams can make impressive wins. But only as long as they are prepared to adopt new tech in their pursuit of improving work outcomes and companywide performance.

Workplace Design Matters

Finally, when it comes to some of the most important takeaways from the biggest productivity studies, it’s important to mention that science has shown that work environments directly influence productivity levels.

In other words, the thousands of YouTube videos showing influencers sharing their work desk setups aren’t just a passing trend. Rather, they reflect the scientific fact that well-designed environments support good work.

  • For instance, setting the office thermostat to the right temperature could be the key to boosting productivity and minimizing errors. In fact, some productivity studies found that the ideal work conditions are in temperatures ranging from 68 to 86 degrees, with humidity levels between 20% and 60%.
  • Similarly impressive is the fact that air quality affects employees’ cognitive capacities. Poor ventilation and high levels of PM2.5 pollution slowed response times for workers and reduced their accuracy.
  • Improving environmental lighting quality is also an effective way to affect employees’ efficiency and well-being, according to a 2019 analysis.
  • And, of course, it’s also worth mentioning that some design choices — like adding plants to office spaces — don’t directly affect productivity. Nonetheless, they can lower people’s stress levels, which makes it easier to do efficient work by improving focus, boosting energy levels, heightening creativity, and lifting mood.
Also read: How to Build and Sustain Company Culture in a Hybrid Work Environment?


If you’ve decided to try and improve employee productivity using strategies derived from the biggest productivity studies, you’re on the right path. 

However, you must remember not to expect huge improvements. Because, yes, big productivity gains can be a good thing. But, as was the case during the pandemic, they can also be the side-effect of an unhealthy relationship with work, such as a poor work-life balance or presenteeism.

So, to guarantee that the gains your team makes stay consistent, aim for small headways. Yes, a 1% boost in productivity may not sound impressive. However, if it’s maintained over a 10-year period, it will be much better for your business than a temporary uptick followed by a crash.

While a lack of human connection may not be a factor AI can ever learn to overcome, there are solutions to ensure AI can surmount its current limitations in the career space. This includes using diverse and representative training data to limit biases and create a fairer and more inclusive candidate experience, and continuously monitoring and evaluating AI algorithms.


Request a Demo
Request a Demo

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are the key points of employee productivity?

Ans. The key points of productivity include effective time management, goal clarity, task prioritization, continuous learning, and leveraging technology. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance and fostering a positive work environment also play vital roles in enhancing overall productivity.

Q2. Why is it important to study productivity?

Ans. Studying productivity is crucial as it enables individuals and businesses to optimize their time, resources, and efforts. By understanding productivity techniques, one can achieve more in less time, enhance efficiency, and achieve both personal and professional goals effectively.

Q3. What are the main factors that affect employee productivity?

Ans. The main factors influencing employee productivity include workplace environment, clear communication, task delegation, skill development, work-life balance, and job satisfaction. Addressing these factors positively can lead to improved employee engagement and overall organizational productivity.


Author: Natasha


Natasha is a lady of a keyboard and one hell of a geek. She has been working for, and collaborating with, individual clients and companies of all sizes for more than a decade. Natasha specializes in writing about design, branding, digital marketing, and business growth. She is also addicted to art in all its forms and grilled tofu.

Subscribe To The Engagedly Newsletter 

3 Proven Ways to Boost Employee Productivity

Employee productivity is an essential part of your company’s success and growth. If you’ve made the switch to remote working and have been struggling to find the right ways to motivate your employees, this is the perfect blog for you. 

We’ve collected the three best ways to boost employee productivity and written an actionable guide for you. Not only will we explain the importance of each strategy, but we’ll also give you tips on how to help your workers transition into remote work successfully. 

1. Provide Support for Your Remote Workers

You should be able to provide support for your remote employees from the onboarding process onward. 

When you’ve checked the best-written resumes and are hiring new employees, make sure they understand what working from home entails. Don’t just talk about the positives, make sure to paint a realistic picture. Describe how you’ll support your employees and how they can best prepare themselves. 

Also Read: How To Create A Time Management Plan For Remote Teams

It would be a good idea to create a remote work guide you could share with new employees. Cover the topics of: 

  • How to set up a home office
  • When is the best time to talk to other employees
  • How to organize your workday
  • What to do when taking a break
  • How to destress after work

Make sure to have regular check-ins and support your team whenever any issues arise. That way you’ll be proactive about your employee productivity. 

If you’re worried your employees won’t come to you with problems, try being proactive and organizing weekly meetings, in which you don’t exclusively talk about work. Start with a fun icebreaker that will help your team bond.

Don’t skip over topics of – employees’ birthdays, important events, pets, etc. 

Then, talk about what’s progressing nicely in the company. Make sure your employees feel valued. From that, transition into talking about the general topic of your meetings. 

Throughout the week, you can use Slack and other communication tools to recommend movies, series, podcasts, books, and more. It’s a great way to connect with your team members and help them forge real friendships. 

2. Remove Distractions – Digital and Other Ones

It might be tempting to work from bed, while still wearing pajamas. But this type of working style will leave you feeling less motivated and less productive. That’s why it’s essential to help your employees and set them up for success. 

Explain to your team members that they need to find a place in their house to set up a desk. Having a routine helps us stay motivated and it’s important for your employees to know what distracts them and how to find a fruitful practice. 

Make sure to explain to them where the best place for setting up a home office is and how to talk to their roommates and families about working from home. Although they can never fully isolate themselves from their surroundings, they should have a place where they can take calls and host meetings in peace. 

Whether you’re providing them with equipment or not, you should be ready to help them with any technical issues they may encounter. 

Furthermore, they should be able to restrict themselves from using social media during work hours. Instagram and Twitter tend to steal hours of our time if we don’t proactively avoid them. They can try putting their smartphones in a different room or logging out of their social media. 

Lastly, make sure all your workers have clear roles and responsibilities. If they are expected to ‘read the room’ and pick up on tasks, you’ll end up with a confused team and unfinished business. 

Once everyone knows which projects they’re working on and how they can help others, you’ll get a productive team that knows how to work toward the big picture. You’ll also see a rise in employee productivity. 

3. Work at Set Hours

As you already know, working from home allows you to set up a better work-life balance. You’re not wasting time commuting and have the option to work flexible hours on days when you have other commitments. 

However, working from home can sometimes turn into working for the entire day. That’s why it’s so important to set up strict working hours. Make sure to explain to your employees that even if they don’t start their work day at the same time every day, they should try to work for a set number of hours instead of going overboard. 

If you have set weekly meetings, make sure it’s not too early or too late for any of your team members. Working with an international team has a lot of benefits, but make sure your employees aren’t working night shifts in order to attend the meetings. 

They should also have a relaxing routine to slip into after work. It could be anything from going on a walk, chatting with friends, having lunch, relaxing watching a TV show, or something else. 

A good trick is to set an alarm for when the working day is over – just like a school bell signaling the end of school. 

Also Read: The Complete Guide To Working From Home

employee productivity

Key Takeaways

Boosting employee productivity in a remote setting doesn’t have to be tricky. You can do it by sticking to our actionable guide that makes sure both you and your employees understand how to succeed in a remote environment. 

Making sure you support your employees will help you build loyal relationships with them. Once they see how much you’re investing in them, their education, and their work-life balance, they will feel appreciated, and in turn, it will lower your turnover rate. Furthermore, you need to help your employees remove any possible distractions like doing the washing up, social media, etc. 

Lastly, make sure your employees don’t overwork themselves. Overworked employees are unproductive employees and you want to avoid that. Help them stick to their fixed working hours by avoiding messaging them outside of work. 

If you have enough time to invest in your employees, you’ll see how your team members react to your strategies and you can shape them accordingly.

employee productivity

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is employee productivity?

Ans. Employee productivity, also known as workforce productivity, refers to the quantity and quality of work delivered by an employee or a team within a specific time.

Q2. What are the factors that affect employee productivity?

Ans. Factors that affect employee productivity are:

  1. Work environment
  2. Processes
  3. Pay structure
  4. Training and career development opportunities
  5. Employee wellness
  6. Goals

Q3. How to measure employee productivity?

Ans. Employee productivity can be measured using:

  1. The labor productivity method
  2. The hours worked method

This article is written by Vanja Maganjić.

productivity of employees

Vanja Maganjić is an experienced writer with a unique passion for creating content that helps brands connect with their customers. She believes in brands that stand up to the man and thinks that storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human. Her long-term goal is to become the cool auntie that gives out family-sized Kit Kats on Halloween.