8 fast ways to increase employee productivity in the workplace (2023)

The most important element of a company are its employees – after all, productive employees are what makes a company successful in the first place. But, according to a recent US Bureau labor report, employee productivity has been dwindling in recent years.

Here’s what employee productivity really is, why it’s important, how you can measure it, calculate it, and, most importantly, how you can increase it.

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Table of Contents

What is employee productivity?

Employee productivity, also known as productivity in the workplace or workplace productivity, is the measure of an individual employee’s output.

For example, a company that produces artistic bottles will want to know how many artistic bottles one employee can manufacture in a specific period of time – this number is the individual employee’s output.

As such, employee productivity shouldn’t be confused with labor productivity (workforce productivity), which is the overall economic output of a country or company per labor hour.

The importance of employee productivity

The purpose of any company is to be successful – and we’ve already established that employee productivity can make or break the success of a company. Two factors determine whether employees are successful at their work:

  1. Productivity – the amount of work completed
  2. Effectiveness – the amount of effort put into that work

Some people may spend a lot of time finishing a small amount of work – these people are more effective than productive.

(Video) How To Increase Employee Productivity In The Workplace

Other people may finish a lot of work in a small amount of time – these people are more productive than effective.

You should always make the most out of both your productivity and your effectiveness – aim to put maximum effort into your work, and finish as much work as you can in an as short amount of time as possible.

There are several benefits to high employee productivity that prove its importance in your company – if employees are productive, the business:

  • becomes more profitable
  • grows
  • meets consumer demand
  • remains competitive

In gist, high employee productivity ensures a company remains relevant on the market.

How to measure employee productivity

In order to measure employee productivity, you’ll first need to talk with your employees and define a standard against which you’ll compare individual employee results. You can measure employee productivity by:

Measuring the number of sales

Evidence you have high productivity: High number of sales.

How do you measure it? You determine the number of sales per month your employee need to make, and then you compare their monthly results with this number.

For example, you decide that each employee should make 100 calls per month, make 20 contacts, and 10 sales. If an employee is making 120 calls, but only 5 sales, he or she is not reaching the standard. If an employee is making 80 calls, but 15 sales, he or she is beating the set standard.

Measuring goals meet

Evidence you have high productivity: High number of goals met.

How do you measure it? You determine the number of goals per month your employees need to reach, and then you compare their monthly results with this number.

(Video) 8 Smarter Ways To Improve Staff Productivity

Measuring profit

Evidence you have high productivity: High profit.

How do you measure it? You define the ideal annual profit for your company. If you reach or top it, you’ve proven your employee productivity. If you fall short, your employees are not reaching their expected productivity percentage.

💡 Clockify pro tip

Want to calculate your ideal annual profit? Check out our Hourly Rate Calculator, and learn what expenses you’ll need to account for in order to reach your ideal profit.

Measuring the amount of work completed

Evidence you have high productivity: High number of tasks completed.

How do you measure it? You determine the number of tasks per week your employees need to complete, and then you compare their monthly results with this number.

Measuring the quality of work completed

Evidence you have high productivity: All projects, no matter their number, are completed in a quality way.

How do you measure it? You determine the parameters that define a completed project as a quality and successful one, and then you determine how many of your finished projects live up to these parameters. For example, when you’re developing an app, the project is considered successful and quality if the app is functional, if it fulfills all client requirements, and if the client is satisfied.

Measuring time spent

Evidence you have high productivity: Less time spent working on a project.

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How do you measure it? Set estimates for the time it will take the employees to finish all your project-related tasks, and provide the client with a project deadline based on those estimates. Instruct your employees to track the time they span on these tasks. If you finish before the deadline, your team was productive with their time (and schedule).

How do you calculate employee productivity?

In order to understand how you can increase employee productivity, you should calculate the current state of employee productivity first.

There are various ways to do this, but the most common method usually involves comparing the employee’s performance against the relative cost he or she brings to the company – the ultimate goal is to receive more value from the employee than he or she is paid, but, as we’ve seen in the previous section of this post, there are more indicators of high employee productivity.

You can also calculate the percentage of possible employee productivity within your company if you follow these 4 steps:

  • Step 1: Define a standard

You’ll measure all your levels of production against this standard.

  • Step 2: Determine how much time you have in a workweek

If you have a five-day workweek, with a daily norm of 8 hours, you have 40 hours, or 2400 minutes of time every week.

  • Step 3: Subtract all “unproductive” time from your workweek

This includes all your lunch breaks, short breaks, meetings, and similar activities. For example, if you spend about 30 minutes on your lunch break, 30 minutes on short breaks, and 1 hour on meetings every day, that’s 10 hours or 500 minutes you should subtract from your total workweek time. That leaves a clean 1,900 minutes of time you’re productive.

  • Step 4: Calculate the percentage

Divide the number of available productive time (1,900) with the number of available work time per week (2,400), then multiply by 100 to get your productivity percentage (1,900/2,400*100 = 79%).

When calculating your productivity percentage, remember 2 important things:

  • You can never be 100% productive
  • Your productivity percentage is only the ideal figure – the employees will need to focus and avoid distractions in order to reach the company’s maximum productivity percentage of 79%

How to increase employee productivity in the workplace

In order to increase employee productivity in the workplace, you should implement the 8 following steps:

(Video) 9 effective ways to improve employee productivity in a hybrid world

Improve workplace conditions

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If you want to make your employees productive, you’ll need to make sure they’re working in optimal conditions.

  • Make sure there’s plenty of natural light in the office. Employees who work in an office with windows and enough natural light sleep 46 minutes more at night – they’re more rested and more likely to focus when they come to work.
  • Include plant-life in the office. Green offices make employees more comfortable, and thus more productive with their work.
  • Don’t leave your wall colors white. Employees make more errors when they work in offices with white walls – instead, opt for red (it helps with detail-oriented tasks), green (it helps motivate), blue (it boosts creativity).

Optimize emailing

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Studies claim we spend 13 hours per week on emails – multiply that with the number of employees in your company, and you’ll get the exact hours of your time could be spending more productively.

  • Block time just for emails. Instruct your employees to select a time window each day when you’ll deal with emails, and stick to this time – perform all email communication during the 1 hour after lunch, or 1 hour before you leave work.
  • Keep emails short and on point. Instruct your employees to be polite, as well as precise with their questions, and straightforward with their answers when writing an email.
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  • Refrain from emailing your employees in the middle of the night. Such late-night emails may stress out your employees, increase their anxiety levels, and decrease their chances of performing well at work tomorrow morning.

Optimize meetings

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Employees spend nearly 87 hours per month on various meetings – which amounts to $37 billion lost per year, as many meetings grow into unproductive discussions.

  • Email instead. Email is a faster and more precise means of communication, so instead of holding countless meetings, blast a group email during your time blocked hour dedicated to emails.
  • Reduce the number of meetings per day/week/month. Hold only the essential meetings.
  • Reduce the number of meeting attendees. Some employees may be vital for your meetings, but others who aren’t shouldn’t be obliged to attend every time. Instead, the most productive solution is to have them continue with their usual line of work.
  • Reduce the time spent in each meeting. 15-20 minutes per meeting is enough for you to cover the most important points.

Allow flexible schedules

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Different people have different productivity prime times during the day – so, sticking to a strict 9-to-5 schedule, or working hard from the earliest hours of the morning may not work for everyone.

  • Make the work hours flexible – Instead of working 8 continuous hours per day, let your employees work in two smaller time blocks that together equal 8 hours. For example, let them clock in work time from 7 AM to 1 PM, go to the gym/long lunch, and then finish their workday from 3 PM to 5 PM. They’ll feel more productive and efficient – they’ll get a fresh surge of energy after the long, fulfilling 2-hour break, and avoid the dreaded afternoon slump employees tend to feel before “closing” time.
  • Allow remote work – In spite of some remote work challenges, 65% of employees believe they’re more productive when they work outside of the office, and 47% wish their company provided this benefit. Select positions eligible to work remotely, define availability hours for remote workers, define specific response time, and instruct employees to log their time for productivity reports.

Provide better employee training

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Training and development help improve employee knowledge, and then their work performance, by extension.

  • Use specialized software. Learning Management Software, such as Lynda or TalentLMS, provides various useful courses that help employees expand on their old skills and learn some new ones. They also offer analytics and statistics, so you can track your employee progress.
  • Provide hands-on training. This type of training lets the employees test out the efficacy of certain training tasks, by giving them the opportunity to try them as they learn about them.
  • Allow employees to learn at their own pace. Rushing through complicated topics won’t allow new knowledge to stick, or employees to test out their newfound skills. It’s best to leave employees time to process their training or learn at their own pace.

Stop micromanagement in task delegation

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Task delegation is productive in itself, but managers often cannot let go of tasks they’ve given to others – so they micromanage every detail, rendering task delegation pointless. Moreover, as much as 85% of employees feel demoralized by micromanagement – constant supervision makes them lose faith in their abilities, and they perform subpar.

  • Manage expectations and requirements instead. If you’re looking for a specific outcome, you’ll have to provide guidelines to your employees. You’ll also need to let your employees know what you expect from them – and not all well-meaning task requirements will lead to the right task expectations, so if your employees are more focused on their goal than the means of getting there, you’ll have less to worry and micromanage about.
  • Once you delegate, leave the room. The employees will feel more independent, more relaxed), and more confident in their skills if there isn’t a supervisor constantly looming over their heads.

Improve office communication

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In teamwork, good collaboration leads to optimal productivity and efficacy, and good collaboration stems from good communication and feedback.

  • Build teamwork purposefully. Productivity-rich teamwork doesn’t happen by accident – you and your team will have to make an effort to become an effective team. You can start by hosting casual get-togethers from time to time – throw an office party, initiate an employee outing, organize a team-building paintball match. When new employees arrive, make sure they feel welcome in the workplace, and equal with their new colleagues.
  • Find the ideal means of communication. Your company may use a communication tool, email, and phones for communication, but you’ll need to learn how each employee replies best. Some may reply quickest to Slack messages, some to email messages, and some are prompt in answering their phones.

Encourage self-care

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Encouraging employees to take care of themselves goes a long way in encouraging employees to care about their tasks and projects.

  • Encourage the use of health insurance benefits. Make sure employees are aware of all health benefits the company offers, and then make sure to encourage them to take the available full-physical exams, vaccinations, and other benefits.
  • Offer beneficial self-care courses. You can sign up your employees for stress relief or time management courses, to help them learn how to alleviate everyday stress, manage their time better, or learn any other useful self-care techniques.
  • Recognize employee accomplishments. It seems practical to address your employees only when you need to point out mistakes in their work, but this isn’t a productive practice. Employees like to know that their hard work is appreciated – 79% of professionals quit their jobs due to a lack of appreciation at the workplace. Such a gesture helps lift their confidence – so, take the time to highlight people’s achievements and strong points when you can.

💡 Clockify pro tip

(Video) 8 Tricks To Improve Efficiency At Work

Interested in some more work efficiency tips that will help you improve your employee performance? Check out our 58 time management tips for work, and guide on how you can improve your time management skills.


Once you’ve understood the importance of employee productivity for the success of your company, you’ll need to implement the right steps to measure, calculate, and most importantly, increase this valuable business resource.

In order to do so, you’ll need to pay equal attention to what’s beneficial for your company and what’s beneficial for your employees – make sure you improve workplace conditions, optimize emailing and meetings, allows flexible employee schedules, provide optimal employee training, refrain from micromanaging everything, improve office communication, as well as encourage employee self-care.


8 fast ways to increase employee productivity in the workplace? ›

Productivity varies by industry and business model. For example, a farmer producing a commodity crop who successfully switches to a premium crop may boost their productivity rate by charging higher prices for their output.

What are the ways to improve employees productivity in the workplace? ›

How to Improve Employee Productivity: Our Top 10 Tips
  1. Improve Employee Onboarding. ...
  2. Stop Micromanaging. ...
  3. Encourage Flexible Working and Time Off. ...
  4. Hire People, Not CV's. ...
  5. Encourage Team Collaboration. ...
  6. Champion Team Communication. ...
  7. Focus on Employee Training. ...
  8. Ask for Feedback.
Mar 31, 2023

What 3 things would you do to improve your team? ›

Here are 8 tips on how to improve teamwork within any organization.
  • Build diverse and inclusive teams. ...
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities for every team member. ...
  • Build trust within the team. ...
  • Encourage clear, frequent communication. ...
  • Give teams autonomy in decision-making. ...
  • Manage team meetings wisely.

What is an example of increased productivity? ›

Productivity varies by industry and business model. For example, a farmer producing a commodity crop who successfully switches to a premium crop may boost their productivity rate by charging higher prices for their output.

What are 4 ways to improve production? ›

How to Increase Production Efficiency
  • Step 1: Improve Your Business Processes. ...
  • Step 2: Evaluate Your Production Line. ...
  • Step 3: Update Technology. ...
  • Step 4: Identify Production Bottlenecks. ...
  • Step 5: Find and Eliminate Wastefulness. ...
  • Step 6: Consider Recycling. ...
  • Step 7: Get Organized. ...
  • Step 8: Improve Your Training Processes.
May 23, 2022

What are the best productivity tips? ›

Top 30 Productivity Hacks to Maximize Productivity in 2023
  • Plan Your Day Ahead of Time. ...
  • Write Down the Three Most Important Daily Tasks. ...
  • Use Any Productivity Technique. ...
  • Set a Single Goal for Each Day. ...
  • Set Specific Times to Check Email. ...
  • Learn to Say “No” ...
  • Use Website Blockers. ...
  • Use red and blue colors more often.
Feb 20, 2023

What 3 factors are most likely to improve labor productivity? ›

5 factors with an impact on labor productivity
  • Energy and personal attitudes. The combination of energy and a person's attitude will play a significant role in determining their productivity in any context, whether work-related or not. ...
  • Equipment and resources. ...
  • Objectives. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Environment.
Nov 14, 2018

What are the six steps to improving employee performance? ›

There are six key steps to improving performance:
  • Clarify expectations of good performance. ...
  • Explain consequences of poor performance. ...
  • Monitor performance and provide specific feedback. ...
  • Provide advice for improvement. ...
  • Give them time to improve. ...
  • Follow through on your consequences.
Sep 23, 2015

What is an easy method that improves employee functioning? ›

Offer incentives

One of the best methods for improving employee performance is through encouraging them to be more efficient by offering rewards and other benefits. You can consider offering special incentives to recognize when your employees perform highly and produce excellent work.

What is one way to improve employee performance? ›

Encourage Feedback

Feedback is crucial to improving employee performance, and it has to go both ways. Managers should provide frequent constructive feedback to employees in the flow of work. At the same time, employees need to provide feedback regarding workflows, processes, or tasks that may be slowing them down.

What are 4 factors that can increase productivity? ›

A brief analysis of five major factors as a perspective to enhance productivity is discussed in the following sub-sections.
  • Positive attitude and involvement of management. ...
  • Proactive employee. ...
  • Good working condition. ...
  • Tool and equipment to raise productivity. ...
  • Availability of input supplies.

What are the 5 pillars of productivity? ›

The following five pillars of a productive workplace can be referred to as a fundamental framework to explore a company's performance.
  • Collaborative environment. ...
  • Transparency. ...
  • Shared Vision. ...
  • Appropriate tools. ...
  • Measuring productivity.
Jan 6, 2022

What do you say to motivate your team? ›

6 Things You Can Say to Motivate Your Team
  • “Thank you” Showing gratitude to your employees shows them that they're not just another wheel in the cog, but a really important member of the team. ...
  • “What do you think?” ...
  • “That's great!” ...
  • “Can I help?” ...
  • “You'll do great” ...
  • “We” not “I”

What 2 3 things do we need to work on to improve performance? ›

Other 18 areas of improvement at work
  • Improve your time management. ...
  • Try to do important tasks first. ...
  • Set clear goals. ...
  • Improve your communication skills. ...
  • Don't try to do your own, delegate. ...
  • 9. Make use of the right tools. ...
  • Give yourself down time. ...
  • Encourage desk cleanliness and organization.
Mar 17, 2023

How do you motivate a team to be more productive? ›

The ultimate guide to motivating a team — and why it matters
  1. Share your vision and set clear goals.
  2. Communicate with your staff.
  3. Encourage teamwork.
  4. A healthy office environment.
  5. Give positive feedback and reward your team.
  6. Provide opportunities for development.
  7. Give employees the space they need to thrive.

What causes more productivity? ›

Productivity increases when more output is produced with the same amount of inputs or when the same amount of output is produced with less inputs.

What 3 things can have an impact on increasing productivity? ›

Now I'd like to delve into the “how.” Our research points to three contributing forces that lead to productivity improvement: The internal motivation and drive of individuals. The performance norms of teams. The organizational dimensions and overall culture of the company.

What are three ways to increase productivity? ›

Three ways to increase productivity are technology, division of labor, and motivating employees.

What are the modern methods of increasing employee productivity? ›

Opportunities for career development

Employees who pursue professional development in their careers tend to have higher productivity and job satisfaction. Some ways organizations can support employee career development include; courses, workshops, seminars, individual coaching, shadowing or increasing responsibilities.

What are the three factors that can improve labor productivity? ›

Growth in labor productivity depends on three main factors: saving and investment in physical capital, new technology, and human capital.

What are two ways we can increase labor productivity? ›

  • Increase labor productivity by hiring local. ...
  • Avoid expertise overlap. ...
  • Source quality components. ...
  • Tackle dust, noise & hazards. ...
  • Increase labor productivity by limiting overtime. ...
  • Beware staggered or alternating rosters. ...
  • Lift morale to increase labor productivity. ...
  • Avoid late production rescheduling.
Sep 18, 2020

How leaders can improve employee productivity? ›

To increase workplace productivity, you need to encourage employees to take breaks and leave on time. The easiest way to do this is by having your leaders set an example. The energy-boost everyone in your organization gains will more than compensate for the lost working hours.

How do you increase employee motivation? ›

Here are 20 ways to improve employee motivation :
  1. Improve corporate and team culture. ...
  2. Develop a modern work environment. ...
  3. Provide an Employee motivation platform. ...
  4. Provide transparent and clear communication. ...
  5. Encourage teamwork. ...
  6. Encourage innovation and creativity. ...
  7. Express gratitude. ...
  8. Recognize a good job.

What are the 4 factors that cause growth in productivity? ›

Output per hour can increase over time due to:
  • Technological advances.
  • Improved worker skills.
  • Improved management practices.
  • Economies of scale in production.
  • Increases in the amount of non-labor inputs used.

What are the 4 factors of productivity? ›

Economists divide the factors of production into four categories: land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship.


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