Weekend Is Now Part of the Workweek, Follow-Up Study Confirms
Prodoscore, the leader in employee visibility and productivity intelligence software, today published proprietary data exploring the productivity of remote workers. The report uncovers a number of trends related to productivity levels in the midst of a pandemic, along with general workday behaviors.
Looking at data from May to August, Prodoscore assessed over 105 million data points collected from 30,000 U.S.-based Prodoscore users, the same sample size as a report released earlier this year evaluating the March and April timeframe.
While productivity levels decreased slightly (3%) in May - August compared to early in the pandemic, when measured against pre-pandemic levels they remained strong.
The data revealed a 5% increase in productivity comparing May - August 2019 to May - August 2020, challenging the assumption by business leaders that employees working from home are less productive than when working on-site in an office.
Prodoscore’s extensive user base gives the company access to an array of data surrounding productivity that can help businesses better understand daily activity and make better informed, data-driven decisions. Performance data has traditionally only been available in disparate systems and via multiple reports; Prodoscore ties all of that data together and displays it via a simple dashboard. The data is digestible in seconds.
"The Prodoscore research gives proof-positive data that is consistent with the larger body of psychological research showing the benefits of measuring productivity to support remote and on-site workers’ needs," said Eric Frazer, Psy.D., a member of the Prodoscore Research Council and Consulting Psychologist, Assistant Clinical Professor-Yale University School of Medicine. "These deep insights, such as ‘the productivity window’ give organizations the necessary information to implement enterprise strategies for building resilience and social support and prevent burnout and fatigue among their workers."
Early in the pandemic, calendar time had dropped almost 23% vs. the year prior. Mid-pandemic, calendar time remains lower than in 2019 but up since March and April (registering an average of 116 minutes per day vs. 98 minutes early in the pandemic). This is still nearly 9% lower year over year. With fewer in-person meetings eating up their day, employees have more opportunities to be productive.
Similar to earlier in the year, call time, CRM usage and email volume during the May - August 2020 period are up year over year. Chat is the only tool showing a decline in usage since the start of the pandemic. While document access is down 20% compared to 2019, it is up slightly since early spring. This data tracks with the increase in meeting volume—document usage typically increases when meeting volume increases.
The productivity window is narrowing; in this most recent study, the 10 a.m.-1:00 p.m. time slot is slated as the most productive period during the workday vs. earlier in the year, when people were most productive between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Employees are also starting their day later now (9:20 a.m. vs. 8:32 a.m. in March and April) and ending earlier (5:00 p.m. vs. 5:38 p.m. in March and April).
There could be several reasons for this shrinking workday. One optimistic analysis is that employees are getting better at time management. Additional reports point to employees feeling fatigued and overwhelmed from working too many hours, without enough down time.
This fatigue may be partially the result of the extended workweek. While workday hours have declined slightly, the five-day workweek has mostly disappeared for the remote worker. Similar to early in the pandemic, employees continue to work on weekends. Saturday activity is up just over 4% compared to early in the pandemic, and Sunday activity declined 4%. However, year over year from May through August, employees are working 42% more on Saturdays and 24% more on Sundays in 2020 than in 2019.
Tuesday remains the most productive day of the week, followed by Wednesday and Thursday. Productivity is the lowest on Friday.
"Today’s executives are having to make profound changes to adjust to the current business environment," said Chief Strategy Officer at Prodoscore, Tom Moran. "With the distributed workforce here to stay, at least in some capacity, creating a streamlined experience for employees is imperative. Using data-driven insights will help advance decision-making that leads to more engaged, productive and happier employees."
Prodoscore’s data has various implications for the future of work.
"Much like Tim Ferriss’ controversial four-hour workweek, the presentation of productivity outlined in this report and what we will identify in future reports could challenge everything we know about the ideal work arrangement," said Nadine M. Sarraf, Chief Marketing Officer of Prodoscore. "The data we’ve uncovered sheds light on the way we work today, how that’s changed over time, and what it will look like in the future. "
Prodoscore™ is a company dedicated to empowering teams to be more effective and productive, validated with improved performance and enhanced contributions. By providing visibility into employee activities through a single, easy-to-understand productivity score, a "prodoscore" is calculated to improve workforce productivity and streamline the employee experience. Prodoscore works seamlessly with cloud tools like Google Workplace, Office365, CRM systems, and VoIP calling platforms, allowing it to be quickly implemented and maintained. Learn more at prodoscore.com.
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