10 Surprising Productivity Stats for 2019

March 26, 2019


10 Surprising Productivity Stats for 2019

Have you ever wondered where the eight-hour workday comes from?

Historically, working days were far longer, but that changed in 1914 when Ford Motor Company made an astonishing decision. Ford doubled its employees’ wages and reduced the length of their shifts to just eight hours. Why? Ford found that its workers’ productivity actually increased when they had longer to recuperate. The idea soon caught on and the rest is history.

But as business moved into the information age, a problem emerged: people can’t work productively on intellectual tasks for eight hours straight. In fact, research indicates that during a typical eight hour day, office workers generally spend less than three hours working productively.

Hence, the working day is once again poised for massive disruption. Companies, governments, and policy-makers are actively researching ways to increase productivity and this is generating a number of surprising statistics.

Here’s our pick of the ten most surprising productivity stats for 2019.

1. Companies that promote collaboration are 5x more likely to be high performing

Companies that promote collaborative learning are 500 percent more likely to achieve ‘high performing’ status, according to a joint study between the two Babson College professors and the Institute for Corporate Productivity.

After examining over 1,100 companies, the study concluded that companies with collaborative workplace cultures were five times as likely to be high-performing than those who didn’t focus on collaboration. While these findings suggest a clear link between collaboration and productivity, the authors struck a note of caution: collaboration alone isn’t enough; employees need a reason to collaborate if you want to see results.

2. Lost productivity costs U.S. companies $550 billion every year

According to a report by The Engagement Institute, lost productivity collectively costs U.S. companies up to $550 billion per year. Why? Employees are disengaged from their work. A recent Gallup poll showed that while overall employee engagement is on the rise, almost two-thirds of the workforce isn’t as engaged and productive as they could be.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that American workers now spend longer at work (8.8 hours) than they spend sleeping, yet workplace productivity isn’t improving much. Low employee engagement is thought to be a major factor and almost every company is looking for ways to address this. 

3. 9.7 million people are less productive because of stress

That’s the number of U.S. workers who say that their productivity is damaged by high levels of stress and anxiety due to their workloads. Stress negatively impacts productivity, something that companies are increasingly looking to address through flexible working hours and work-from-home arrangements.

4. $400 billion is lost due to buddy punching

That’s the astonishing amount that U.S. companies are estimated to collectively lose due to ‘buddy punching’ every year. ‘Buddy punching’ happens at workplaces with manual attendance systems such as clock card machines, when friendly colleagues will clock in or out on each other’s behalf. Sometimes the reasons are genuine (such as an emergency), but usually, it’s just laziness or ill-discipline. Increasingly, firms are moving towards biometric attendance systems such as fingerprint scanners to address this issue.

5. The average employee works 2 hours and 53 minutes per day

That’s how long the average U.S. office worker is actually working productively during the course of an average 8.8-hour working day. According to a study, office workers spend the majority of their working day on a range of unproductive activities such as checking social media (44 minutes), searching for new jobs (26 minutes) and reading news websites (1 hour, 5 minutes).

6. Time theft accounts for 2.2% of gross payroll losses

According to research from the American Payroll Association, the average U.S. employee ‘steals’ over 4 hours every week by deliberately not working while they are being paid to be at work.

4 hours?

Yes! A range of behaviors such as arriving a few minutes late, leaving a little early and taking a few extra minutes during break times contribute to this surprising stat.

The popularity of technology that helps reduce time theft is soaring among businesses of all sizes.

7. 3 in 10 employees work during vacation

If you’re looking for reasons why productivity isn’t as high as it could be, look no further than CareerBuilder’s survey on stress in the workplace. It found that three in ten workers actually stay connected with work during their vacations. It’s little wonder that 61 percent of respondents reported feeling burned out!

Limited time to unwind means that productivity levels take a hit and physical symptoms such as fatigue and weight gain affect levels of workplace engagement. Some companies are implementing strategies to help employees manage stress such as offering stress management courses that can help create a healthier, more productive workforce.

8. 77% of employees benefit from flexible working hours

According to recent findings by Canada Life, stress and anxiety have a hugely detrimental effect on productivity. Employers are increasingly experimenting with techniques that may lower their employees’ stress levels such as offering them the chance to work from home for part of the week.

9. 5.2% of employees in the U.S. work from home

5.2% of U.S. workers spend at least part of their week working from home, according to data from the most recent U.S. Census. A Stanford study showed that working from home actually lowers stress levels and improves productivity, making it a win-win for companies and employees alike.

10. Average U.S. employee spends 13 hours per week on email

According to research by business communication platform Attentiv, the average U.S. worker spends 13 hours per week reading and responding to emails. Unsolicited or junk emails contribute to this problem and email overload costs U.S. companies billions. With 96 percent of workers agreeing that unnecessary emails waste their time, many companies are actively looking into ways to reduce this and increase their workplace productivity.

BitBounce increases email productivity

If you feel overwhelmed by emails, you should check out BitBounce. BitBounce is a free email service that blocks unsolicited and spam emails. It integrates seamlessly with any email service and automatically ‘bounces’ emails from people you don’t know, helping to keep your inbox clear and your productivity in top gear.


When you download BitBounce, you can set an amount to charge unknown contacts to send you marketing emails. When a sender pays your inbox fee, 70 percent of that amount is paid to you immediately in cryptocurrency, which you can then trade into dozens of leading currencies. For those that don’t, their emails are bounced into a separate folder in your email that you can read anytime you wish.

So, if you’re ready to save time and get paid for your attention, download BitBounce today and send your productivity into overdrive!