Your Employees Only Use 27% of Their Day Doing Skilled Work

Employee Productivity Statistics

Your best employees may only be doing their best work about one-quarter of the day.

A new survey from Asana finds employees, on average, use 27% of their day doing skilled work. Another 13% is used for strategic planning. But that leaves another 60% of their day.

What’s occupying that time? A lot of wasted efforts, the employee productivity statistics in the survey reveal.

Employee Productivity Statistics

Most companies are making efforts to increase the productivity of their employees.

However, knowledge workers (office employees, or the ones who spend 50% or more of their time at a computer/device to complete tasks) spend only 27% of their time on skilled work – the actual work they are hired for.

13% of knowledge workers’ time goes into strategizing and planning.

And you will be surprised to know that knowledge workers spend 60% of their time on work about work.


Employee Productivity Statistics
Image: Asana

Work About Work – A Big Time Eater

It is true that companies often rely on spreadsheets, emails, chats, and meetings to manage work.

Without realizing it, you and your employees may spend a great deal of time on work about work, such as hunting down documents, managing shifting, or communicating about tasks, or participating in meetings. And it doesn’t end here.

Now, the average employee uses 10 different apps to complete their tasks daily. Needless to say, the more apps an employee uses, the more distracted he/she will feel.

Employee Productivity Statistics
Image: Asana

What Kills Productivity

You must be wondering now what exactly kills the productivity of employees.

Following are the top productivity killers, according to the survey:

  • Responding to emails and messages
  • Approvals and feedbacks
  • Chasing teammates to complete tasks
  • Too much work to do

How to Boost Your Employees’ Productivity

It is no brainer that small businesses should try to minimize productivity killers and do what matters most to boost productivity.

Here are some ways to remove productivity barriers:

1- Establish Boundaries

Incessant chat pings and never-ending emails are certain to distract your employees.

Indeed, many a time, they are essential, but establishing some boundaries will ease out some pressure on your employees.

2- Use Tech to Schedule Work Intelligently

As found in the survey, too much work to do often kills employees’ productivity. And employees might not tell you that they have too much on their plate.

So you should make sure that you are intelligently scheduling work to them.

There are tools that can enable you to know how much work each team member has. Find a tool based on your business and start scheduling work smartly.

3- Train Employees on Tools

Often employees use a few tools to complete their tasks. And not everyone is good at tech. So some employees can struggle while using those tools, which can hamper productivity.

Therefore, you should train your employees on essential tools that your small business uses.

Don’t assume all of your employees will use tools at their disposal with the same efficiency.

4- Fix Goals for the Day

Make sure that your employees understand what they need to achieve in the day. Communicating with them about their daily goals in the morning will rule out lots of confusion and vagueness.

Also, when you are creating daily goals, you should understand that your employees cannot give you the same productivity daily.

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to do smart work scheduling so that tasks can be completed on time without making your employees overworked.

Joshua Zerkel, Certified Productivity expert and Head of Global Community at Asana, shares his productivity tips, “For most of us, no two work days are the same. Understanding how all the work we do fits into the bigger picture can mean the difference between feeling empowered and engaged or overworked and overwhelmed.”

About the Survey

On behalf of Asna, Sapio Research conducted the survey in August and September 2019. The research included 10,223 knowledge workers from the US, the UK, Australia/New Zealand, Germany, and Japan.

To know more about The Anatomy of Work Index report, you can click here.


Sandeep Babu Sandeep Babu is a cybersecurity writer. He writes about malware, data security, privacy, and other cybersecurity topics for SBT and other reputed platforms.