Productivity is a sign of economic and professional success, so it’s unsurprising that businesses are always chasing after peak efficiency. What’s surprising is many of them choose to equate profitability with the number of hours worked. But this is far from being a best practice.

Discover the primary difference between employee productivity vs. hours worked with ControTask. We’ll also give you insights into the right way to measure performance and how you can improve it with our employee tracking system.

Employee Productivity vs. Hours Worked: How Should You Measure Performance?

Employee productivity is a metric of how efficient your team is. It monitors the tasks or services delivered in a specific period, analyzes performance based on experience and expertise, identifies the most valuable workers, and ensures they’re adequately and fairly compensated.

Measuring productivity based on the hours worked focuses on quantity rather than quality, which is where this idea goes wrong. The number of hours worked doesn’t mean higher performance or greater success. Rather, working longer hours can be counterproductive as it leads to a drop in productivity. It exposes workers to diverse types of occupational health hazards and affects their quality of life. Moreover, it can increase the average premium on their health insurance, which can affect your bottom line.

What Is the Right Way To Measure Employee Productivity?

The right way to measure employee productivity varies across industries.

In the manufacturing industry, you can know productivity by knowing how many products have been made in a certain period. But if you’re calculating productivity in the service sector, you’ll go by tasks—how much time an employee takes to perform a task or serve a number of customers, the quality of services rendered, how it compares to the company standard, and so on.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to these two.

In the sections that follow, we explain additional solutions for measuring employee productivity.

Time Tracking

How long does it take your employees to perform specific tasks?

Time-tracking software records the number of hours your employees spend on each assigned activity in a typical workday. This gives you insights into your team’s working style, helps you discover bottlenecks and redundancies, and ensures accountability.

It’s particularly helpful for businesses that bill by the hour or hire remote workers.

Tracking Attendance

How many hours are your employees putting in every day?

Monitoring your team’s attendance gives you valuable insights into how much time they spend working. It ensures punctuality so your team stays on top of their assignments and timelines. It also keeps clients happy and boosts your business’ reliability and credibility.

Quality Management

Working hours cannot be tied to productivity for the sole reason that productivity falls sharply after employees have rendered 50 hours a week and becomes quite pointless after 55 hours. As such, you’re better off basing your employees’ productivity on the quality of work they produce.

Establishing Baselines

Set clear, actionable goals, such as closing X sales a day or producing Y units in an hour, when measuring employee performance over time. It helps you track your team’s efficiency, spot potential problems, identify areas for improvement, and increase your team’s performance.

Tips for Making Your Company’s Employees More Productive

In John Maynard Keynes’ “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren,” he suggested that three-hour shifts or a 15-hour week are sufficient.

Sounds grand, doesn’t it?

While managers still have a long way to go before they buy into it, there are other ways to increase your employees’ productivity. These include:

Avoid Unnecessary Meetings

Seventy-one percent of senior managers) across a variety of industries deemed meetings unproductive and inefficient. So, if you want your employees to get more quality work done in less time, avoid roping them into meetings that are unnecessary.

For example, businesses lose $37 billion each year to unnecessary meetings.

Set Short Deadlines

Short deadlines establish a clear goal and create a sense of urgency. It can thus be a powerful tool to boost productivity among employees who are prone to procrastination. But be sure to keep them achievable, because if the deadline is impossible to meet, it can send people into a frustrated, less-productive state.

Offer Remote Work

Remote work is becoming the norm, with 8 in 10 people working in hybrid or remote environments in 2023. Consider giving your employees the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. Because remote workers have been found to be 13% more productive than their in-office colleagues, this small change can give you huge returns.

Moreover, you’ll reduce real estate costs and pay lower transportation expenses.

Support Work-Life Balance

A healthy work-life balance can drive engagement, enhance productivity, reduce turnover, increase morale, reduce burnout and lower absenteeism, improve job satisfaction, increase profitability, and so much more. You can capitalize on it by:

If you don’t know where to begin, ask your employees for suggestions on how their work experience can be better and tailor your work culture accordingly.

Maintain Good Communication

Using social technologies offers a 20% to 25% improvement in worker productivity, especially in the knowledge sector. As such, focus on effective communication in the workplace.

With regular and effective communication, employees will know how to meet your expectations and who to contact if they encounter challenges. It also aids collaboration, drives innovation, improves accountability, reduces turnover, and builds productive teams.

Benefits of Encouraging More Productivity in the Workplace

Higher productivity allows your employees to do their work faster and better. It can be advantageous for employers and their workforces. Here’s why:

  • Ensures efficient use of available resources

  • Creates a company culture of excellence and efficiency

  • Decreases the overall time of production without impacting quality

  • Reduces time-to-market, providing businesses with a competitive edge

  • Results in greater output with the same level of input without adding headcount

  • Reduces employee turnover, saving costs on hiring and onboarding new talent

  • Engages employees, which ensures job satisfaction. This has a ripple effect, as a happy, engaged workforce can increase productivity by an impressive 31%.

  • Higher productivity facilitates salary increases and other incentives for valuable employees who consistently perform well.

Will Using a Productivity Tracker Increase Employee Productivity?

Thanks to technological advancements, freelancing and remote work have become the latest trends in business. Aside from growing engagement, remote work can lead to 40% fewer quality defects, 41% lower absenteeism, and 21% higher profitability.

But it’s not all good news.

Because there’s little to no supervision, there’s a risk that employees might slack off. This is why eight out of the United States’ 10 largest private employers monitor the productivity of their people. When employees know they’re being monitored, they tend to be more focused and accountable. This results in a 7% increase in productivity (with some estimates going as high as 46%)!

So, yes, using an employee productivity tracker can increase employee productivity.

However, the feeling of being watched can create an atmosphere of mistrust, erode company culture, and negatively affect mental health. That’s why it’s important to communicate your intent and focus on performance instead of micromanaging.

Embrace Higher Productivity With ControTask

If you want to keep a closer eye on productivity without negatively affecting company culture, ControTask can help. Our software has useful features like cloud-based control, detailed logs, real-time operation, screen views, and user management so you can keep an eye on what your team is working on and for how long. Choose a subscription plan and try it today!