Productivity has become a buzzword in this age of AI and automation—with more than half of U.S. managers saying robots can do higher quality work than humans.

This statistic, however daunting, doesn’t come as a surprise.

The average office worker is productive for just 2 hours and 53 minutes of every working day. While this isn’t the same for remote employees, whose productivity has increased by 35% to 40% according to more than two-thirds of businesses, disengagement is still costing businesses big money—a staggering $8.8 trillion (or 9% of the global GDP!).

So, what can you do to cut your losses?

You track productivity.

Don’t know how to go about it? Get insights on how to calculate productivity with ControTask so you can evaluate performance and increase your revenue.

What Is Productivity in Business, and Why Should You Measure It?

Productivity, a ratio between output and input, is a measure of performance that is often tied to revenue or profits. It determines how efficient your team is at achieving desired outcomes, be it producing goods or delivering services. It helps in measuring employee performance and identifying opportunities for improvement.

How does this help you?

  • It gives you an idea of how your team works.

  • It reduces time spent on unnecessary tasks so you can lower the risk of burnout.

  • It helps bridge skill gaps so everyone can bring their A-game forward.

  • It minimizes time spent on non-work-related tasks like social media during company hours.

Plus, when individuals know their work is being evaluated, they’re more likely to be more productive—which will positively reflect on your bottom line.

Manual Work vs. Knowledge Work

Most people don’t realize this, but productivity looks different for every industry.

Manual work in the manufacturing business, for example, focuses on the number of products made by a specific employee in a given period. On the other hand, knowledge-based work, such as healthcare, values quality over quantity. However, a high score in both can determine an individual’s performance.

In both scenarios, individuals should be given the tools they need to perform their jobs to perfection. Those involved in manual work will leave these tools behind once they leave the company, while their knowledge-based counterparts take their skills and experience with them.

How To Measure Employee Productivity: Four Tried-And-Tested Methods

There are many ways to measure productivity, but here are four of our favorites:

Back to Basics

You can evaluate an individual or team’s efficiency with this simple equation:

Here’s an example of how to use this formula: Suppose your company produced $50,000 worth of goods in 500 hours. This means you’re turning out 100 units per hour (50,000/500). You can also measure it by dividing the output by the number of employees. Doing so will help you arrive at the amount of resources required to produce goods and how much profit you’re making from them.

With Objectives

If you provide services, measuring productivity can be harder to define because the end product is less tangible. However, it can still be done by using objectives instead of labor.

For example, you can track how much time it takes for employees to finish a certain task, their ability to meet deadlines, or the quality of services they deliver during a given period. Of course, this only works if you provide them with the support and resources they need to perform their job. In the absence of either, they won’t be able to perform.

360-Degree Feedback

This method often gets a bad rep due to human unreliability, but it can be quite useful if you’re looking to standardize because it leaves no room for vague, unhelpful feedback. It will help you identify strengths, weaknesses, and patterns in your people’s working styles and get a clearer picture of how they fit in.

The 360-degree feedback method is a questionnaire that can be personalized with your goals. So, you can choose questions that can provide comprehensive insights into your team’s performance by having their superiors, peers, and subordinates assess them on a variety of metrics.

Employee Monitoring Software

Sixty percent of companies with remote workers use employee monitoring software, with 81% reporting an increase in employee productivity after the software was implemented.

This is often the best way to measure and improve productivity. Monitoring software like ControTask, for instance, will allow you to see what your team is working on and for how long. Plus, it helps with real-time monitoring.

Is it advisable to use real-time monitoring? Yes, 100%. It helps you track network activity, so you can free up your employees from repetitive, cumbersome tasks and offer relevant performance feedback.

How To Improve Employee Productivity

As Margarita Tartakovsky put it, “Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil…It’s more about priorities, planning, and fiercely protecting your time.” This means if you want to improve employee productivity, you’ll need to arm your workforce with the right skills.

Identify Problems

What’s stopping your employees from being their most productive selves?

  • Are you constantly changing their schedules?

  • Are you assigning them more work than they can realistically accomplish?

  • Are you giving them repetitive work that leads to boredom and burnout?

You should also consider personal factors like the time it takes to travel, their anxiety and stress levels, and the unavailability of resources required to get work done. Then come up with solutions to eradicate these challenges and increase the efficiency of the team.

Provide Training

Employees pick up 70% of their skills through their jobs, 20% through peers and colleagues, and 10% through formal training experiences. So if you want your employees to become more efficient and effective in the workplace, invest in their training.

We’re aware that training can cost 1% to 5% of your total salary budget. However, when you consider that hiring a new employee can cost 1.2 to 1.4 times their salaries, with some estimating it can be as high as 3 to 4 times their base salaries, providing training is a far better option. It will help them grow their knowledge base, make them more productive, and aid retention.

Improve Motivation

According to a 2023 study by the Hay Group, offices with engaged employees were 43% more productive. It also leads to more revenue. If you want to realize these benefits, work on the four factors outlined by the American Management Association (AMA):

  • Leadership Style: Choose leaders who help employees realize their potential.

  • Company Culture: Improve the work environment to promote employee performance while increasing commitment and loyalty.

  • Reward System: From bonuses and incentives to time-off, you can motivate employees to be at their best by making them feel valued.

  • Structure of the Work: Match the nature of the work with the employees.

By doing these four things, you can drive productivity and excellence.

Make Meetings Efficient

The average meeting lasts anywhere from 31 to 60 minutes and employees typically participate in at least eight meetings per week. On average, people spend 12 hours per week preparing and attending meetings, which can keep them from performing productive, profitable tasks. Too many meetings can also lead to delayed projects and a heightened sense of burnout that affects your bottom line.

To avoid unnecessary long meetings:

  • Create a meeting agenda and stick to it.

  • Ask for feedback on ways you can improve.

  • If you’re discussing multiple issues, give each a fixed time.

  • Use email to relay information. Send material before the meeting to ensure everyone is familiar with the purpose.

Also, limit the size of meetings. Don’t invite everyone just because. Keep meetings limited to those who stand to benefit the most.

Set Yourself Up for Success: Calculate Productivity With an Employee Monitoring Software

Now that you know how to measure employee productivity and why you should monitor it, it’s time to choose a tool that can elevate the efficiency of your workforce: ControTask’s Employee Tracking System.

Unlike other solutions, our software offers cloud-based controls, real-time operations, and a variety of additional useful features, allowing you to make better decisions for your company.

Get started today and achieve peak productivity while boosting your revenue.