More than 80% of an eight-hour day is unaccounted “gap time” for employees with low productivity
Prodoscore, the leader in employee visibility and productivity intelligence software, today announced proprietary data that exposes the disparity of daily productivity levels between employees, with low-productivity individuals contributing approximately 90 minutes per day of productive work. The resulting report suggests that low-productivity employees comprise approximately 10% of any organization.
These insights into employee productivity will be essential to any company as they consider their return to work plans and look at assessing their employees’ productivity.
Looking at data from January 2020 to April 2021, Prodoscore examined over 21.7 million data points collected from close to 3,000 U.S.-based employees and 140 organizations. Employees with low-productivity ratings represented 11.7% of the sample; employees with average productivity ratings, 72.7% of the sample; and employees with high productivity ratings, 16.1% of the sample.
“One of the essential benefits of our technology is that it creates visibility into how employees are engaged each day,” says David Powell, President of Prodoscore. “Having more than 10% of your employees register such low rates of productivity and high gap times can negatively impact the health and morale of your company. Even doubling the 90 minutes of activity of a low-productivity worker to 180 minutes (3 hours) is only 40% of an eight-hour day – still not the level of engagement you hope to see in your employees. Our data also unpacks a troubling trend: based on hours worked, your least productive employees are earning more per hour than your most productive employees.”
The Least Productive Employees Earn More per Hour
Compensation for an employee working 90 minutes per day and earning $60,000 annually, converts to an average hourly rate of $121.50, with an adjusted annual salary of $252,653. For an employee with average rates of productivity, compensation drops to $53 per hour and an adjusted salary of $111,000. For the highest performers, it drops to $44 per hour and an annual adjusted salary of $91,254.
Gap Times Range Between 45%-80%
With low-productivity workers contributing for only 90 minutes – or around 20% – of an eight-hour day, 80% of that day is considered “gap time” – time that is unaccounted for. In effect, a low-productivity worker is wasting $48,0000 of a $60,000 annual salary.
High- and average-productivity individuals are doing productive work for around four hours (240 minutes) with approximately 58.5% of their day registering as gap time. They tend to start their days earlier and end later than low-productivity individuals.
Gap time for the three productivity levels is highest at the beginning of the day. The low-productivity group takes approximately two hours to show a decrease in gap time, suggesting they are slower to start their day, compared to one hour for average- and high-productivity employees. Also, the low-productivity group shows more than 15 minutes of gap time per hour throughout the day, while average/high-productivity employees show less than 10 minutes.
High- and average-productivity employees can have bad days and weeks, but the data shows they are just that – bad days – and they “bounce back” relatively quickly (within 1-1.5 weeks). Low-productivity workers that make improvements take much longer (more than 3 weeks).
Productivity Across Five Activities
The study analyzed the three levels of productivity, looking at five business applications:
Email: Highly productive employees send almost 8 times more emails compared to employees with low productivity, while those with average productivity send just over 3 times more emails as employees with low productivity.
- Highly productive employees send 30.5 emails per day
- Average-productivity employees send 13.6 emails per day
- Low-productivity employees send 3.9 emails per day
Calendar time: High- and average-productive employees schedule approximately 1.4 times more calendar time as employees with low productivity.
- Highly productive employees have 82.4 minutes per day of calendar activity
- Average-productivity employees have 72.8 minutes per day of calendar activity
- Low-productivity employees have 54.6 minutes per day of calendar activity
Messaging and chat: Highly productive employees send 4 times as many chat messages as employees with low productivity, while those with average productivity send 2.5 times as many chat messages as employees with low productivity.
- Highly productive employees send a rate of 13.6 chat messages per day
- Average-productivity employees send a rate of 8.6 chat messages per day
- Low-productivity employees send a rate of 3.4 chat messages per day
Voice and video: Highly productive employees have 2 times as much voice and video activity as employees with low productivity, while those with average productivity have 1.6 times as much voice and video activity as employees with low productivity.
- Highly productive employees use voice and video 47.8 minutes per day
- Average-productivity employees use voice and video 38.2 minutes per day
- Low-productivity employees use voice and video 23.7 minutes per day
Customer relationship management (CRM): High- and average-productive employees have approximately 1.6 times more CRM activity as employees with low productivity.
- Highly productive employees have 11.3 CRM activities per day
- Average-productivity employees have 7.5 CRM activities per day
- Low-productivity employees have 5.9 CRM activities per day
Documents: Highly productive employees work on more than twice as many documents as employees with low productivity, while those with average productivity work on 1.7 times as many documents as employees with low productivity.
- Highly productive employees work on 3.6 documents per day
- Average-productivity employees work on 2.8 documents per day
- Low-productivity employees work on 1.6 documents per day
“Having this type of objective data to assess productivity can help us understand our employees’ behaviors, with the aim of ensuring everyone in the organization is able to perform at their highest level – not only for the benefit of the organization, but for their own benefit as well,” says Powell. “A lack of productivity by an employee is often tied to unhappiness with the position or to other issues at work or even at home. How great would it be if instead of the employee leaving or getting fired due to low performance, a higher level of support is offered? This data can open the door to more honest conversations between managers and employees on job performance and help prevent attrition – which, in today’s labor market, is of critical importance.”
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