Productivity Statistics: Is Remote Work the Way to Go in 2022?

Productivity is of crucial importance to measuring a successful business. Still, many factors contribute to a productive workforce, not just getting a lot done in a short amount of time. 

With the introduction of stay-at-home orders during 2020, remote and flexible work situations were implemented out of necessity and produced surprising results. Productivity statistics showed that workers are more productive working from home and aren’t too keen about returning back to the office work. 

Top Productivity Statistics: Editor’s Choice

Productivity Statistics in 2021: The Global Situation

Since 2020, the pandemic has altered the way people work. Because of the global lockdown, many employees started to work remotely, changing the concept of the workplace’s effect on productivity forever. Let’s take a look at how the COVID-19 impacted worker productivity by country. 

1. 55% of hiring managers in Russia say productivity doesn’t depend on the workplace.

Even in Russia, the COVID-19 outbreak caused many companies to switch their employees to remote working. Employee productivity statistics for 2021 state that only 20% of hiring managers believe that remote work affects productivity positively, while one-fifth of respondents recorded a decrease in performance.

2. In the second quarter of 2021, non-farm business productivity increased to 2.3%.

While the total output of US worker productivity increased to 7.9% during the pandemic, the hours worked also grew up to 5.5%. Thanks to the prevalence of technology and automation, productivity in white-collar jobs have seen astonishing results.

3. In Canada, labor productivity reached an all-time high of 9.8% in the second quarter of 2020.

While Canada saw an initial increase in productivity during the pandemic, rates have been steadily decreasing since then. 

According to official reports from Canada, productivity statistics show the following three consecutive quarterly drops offset all the achievements registered in the first two quarters of 2020.

4. As of December 2020, workplace productivity in China dropped by 2.82% year-over-year.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, China registered a 3.86% unemployment rate in June 2021.

In China, productivity growth and CEIC statistics reported the highest productivity level in December 1970 (15.12%), and until recently, the country’s employment has been steadily growing ever since.

5. Productivity of the US workers has increased by 253% from 1948–2018.

The productivity rate has grown significantly, but the same can’t be said about workers’ compensation.

While employees have become 259.2% more productive, their hourly compensation grew by 115.6% over the same period. 

6. In 2021, global productivity is estimated to rebound to 2.9% growth.

While these global productivity statistics might sound promising, nothing remains certain. 

Economies from all over the world are slowly starting to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, and impacts of ‘the new normal’ are still to be seen. 

7. Only 21% of employees in the UK think they are productive for the whole day.

The majority—79%—of workers admitted that they do not feel productive for the entire workday. On an eight-hour basis, the average productive hours spent by workers per day amount to less than three hours. 

Distractions such as social media, internet browsing, and co-workers were all reasons employees cited low productivity.

8. Ireland is the most productive country globally, with a productivity rate per hour of $99.13.

While Ireland is currently the most productive country in the world, Norway is a close second with $80.83 in productivity per hour. Switzerland completes the top three, with $69.26 worked per hour. These three countries contribute the most to their economy’s growth.

Workplace Productivity Statistics

Labor productivity primarily refers to how efficient a worker is in a specific work environment, be it an office, a restaurant, a laboratory, or a factory, over a particular period. Productivity measures both the quantity of work output performed, but also the quality of work produced. 

9. On average, a worker is productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes per day.

When it comes to productivity hours worked, statistics prove that employees get interrupted about seven times per hour, with each interruption costing on average five minutes of their time. As a result, the average full-time worker loses up to 5 hours per day of quality time because of external distractions.

10. Multitasking decreases productivity by 40%.

Despite popular belief, undertaking many tasks at once hurts employee productivity levels. These fascinating multitasking productivity statistics confirm that switching from one task to another causes increased stress on the brain and reduces the power of focused intelligence.

11. Across all industries, the average worker is productive for 60% or less of their time at work.

Office workers are some of the most unproductive employees due to constant breaks, meetings, and other coworkers. In order to increase average employee productivity, statistics show that many companies use apps and tools to monitor their worker’s time management. 

Consequently, employees feel more encouraged to avoid unnecessary interruptions while increasing productivity at the same time.

12. The ideal working time is about 7.6 hours per day.

To encourage more productive and happier workers, allowing slightly under the imposed 40 hours per week work model is a good idea. 

Having employees work fewer hours, but put in more during their most productive work hours in the morning, studies show that workers feel less stressed and happier in the workplace. 

For example, the 38-hour workweek is fully functional in Denmark, one of the top three happiest countries worldwide.

Working from Home and Productivity Statistics

Remote work has been growing in popularity over the last few years, but since the pandemic, its benefits have become undeniable to most employers. Contrary to popular belief, remote workers are far more productive than those employed in physical offices, as time management stats show. 

13. Working from home one day a week increases productivity by 13%.

As workplace productivity studies from Stanford show, about 4% of increased productivity at home comes from employees managing to complete more tasks, and the remaining 9% belong to employees working more minutes per shift. Many workers cite that not having to commute to work allows them to start work earlier, maintain better focus, and take shorter lunch breaks.

14. Remote work has been successful for 83% of companies.

Shifting to remote working brought significant advantages to both employers and employees. Other than enhancing worker productivity, statistics confirmed that online working profoundly transformed the work setting. Notably, less than one in five workers would like to return to the office as in the pre-pandemic period.

15. Only 22% of employees would let a company monitor their productivity.

Although most of the employees felt more productive working from the comfort of their homes, employee productivity statistics reported that a shocking 43% would be unhappy with having their work time tracked by their employer. So much so that they would consider leaving their job if it was imposed. 

16. Reduced employee productivity is the top concern for 82% of managers who don’t have training to manage remote workers.

Even though working from home is proven to be more productive than a traditional office job, productivity was the main concern for most managers who never used remote work strategies before. Workplace distractions waste time and cause stress to employees, statistics show. Still, managers have the ease of mind of being able to monitor employees’ behavior in the office. Notably, only 69% of managers who had training for remote work were concerned about this issue. 

17. An employer can save, on average, an annual $11,000 per half-time telecommuter.

Telecommuting productivity is one of the main reasons companies save money with remote work strategies, statistics show. While this is just an estimate, the US Office of Management and Budget reports that companies can calculate their potential savings on an entirely free and comprehensive tool: the Telework Savings Calculator.

Impact of Mental Health and Employee Satisfaction on Productivity

It’s not a secret that poor mental health and stress negatively impact a worker’s performance. Depressed and stressed employees take more sick days, are less focused, and are more likely to leave their jobs.

By investing in practices that improve employee experience, employers are likely to improve productivity and save money.  

18. Workers with undiagnosed depression experience a 35% decrease in productivity.

When it comes to happiness and productivity at work, statistics by the American Psychiatric Association confirm that mental health plays an essential role.

Employees with unresolved depression cost the US economy $210.5 billion per year in sick days and reduced productivity.

19. Around 41% of employees admit that stress made them less productive.

Vacation leaves, a flexible work schedule, and promotions are effective ways to help improve the average worker’s productivity and ease work-related stress. Every day, 50% of workers lose five precious hours of work due to external circumstances, such as meetings, breaks, and other interruptions that cause employees to feel stressed.

20. Taking care of one’s well-being at work can boost productivity by as much as 12%.

These time management stats prove how it’s essential to address mental health at work. Whether you’re already struggling or not, a toxic work environment can put your mental health and productivity levels down the drain.

21. More than 50% of students and younger generations experience high-stress at least once per month due to toxic productivity and hustle culture.

Student productivity statistics highlight the dark side of always being productive. Students and younger generations are subject to hustle culture, the need to constantly work in order to maintain a competitive edge. Notably, this population is highly stressed, with 54% reporting stress symptoms at least once per month. 

Productivity Statistics: The Takeaway

With the coronavirus outbreak, employers embraced remote working and other types of hybrid work models. As workers reported higher productivity at home due to fewer distractions, many employers started to look for new ways to satisfy their workers and improve their overall productivity.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that productivity and job satisfaction are highly correlated with each other. According to personal productivity statistics, employers should focus on investing in workers’ well-being and happiness before anything else.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good productivity percentage?

According to the 70% rule, employees are most productive when working less intensely and without distractions. Plus, working as hard as you can reduce productivity more than you might expect. Overworking leads to burnout, which causes employees to perform poorly or even quit their jobs.

The 70% rule becomes effective once employers incorporate vacations and breaks, unscheduled days, and free days from irrational demands.

What are the key factors that determine labor productivity?

Labor productivity depends on physical capital (equipment and infrastructures), human capital (skills, expertise, and education), and technological change (a mix between invention and innovation). 

Not only are these the key factors affecting productivity in the workplace, but they also affect economic growth. With that said, a worker’s high productivity and local economic growth come hand in hand. For example, a highly productive company will result in a significant source of profit for that country’s economy.

How does technology increase productivity?

Thanks to new technological tools adopted in the workplace, high productivity comes a lot easier. Nowadays, professionals use technology to enhance communication, customize the workflow, increase collaboration, automate daunting and repetitive tasks, and improve engagement.

Moreover, technology provides a better work-life balance and increases the company’s revenue. All these components play a vital role in improving the overall company’s productivity.

How could telecommuting increase worker productivity?

Telecommuting is a way for employees to save costs and time, allowing them to work from home. In the past, employers have felt skeptical about telecommuting, as they expected workers to slack off instead of focusing on their job. A recent experiment at Stanford University proved that telecommuting helped workers achieve better results than in a physical office due to:

  • Greater job satisfaction. 
  • No long and stressful commutes.
  • Less office distraction. 
  • Financial efficiency.

How to calculate productivity percentage?

The productivity rate is calculated by the total output of workers divided by worked hours. For example, a company generates $80,000 in goods and services (output), using 1,500 hours worked (input). In this case, the final result will be 53, meaning the business produces $53 per working hour. 

You can also determine labor productivity by dividing the total number of employees instead of the hours worked. This way, you find how much any employee generates for the company per week.

What is the average productivity of an employee?

In an eight-hour workday, the average worker is productive for less than three hours per day. More precisely, for just 2 hours and 53 minutes out of the eight hours worked. Productivity statistics show that this number amounts to nearly 15 hours of high productivity out of the 40 hours worked every week.

Companies constantly look for new strategies and metrics that can increase employee productivity, such as flexible or hybrid work schedules.


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