In line with World Productivity Day today (June 20th), Jabra is revealing the top workplace productivity trends. These are based on a survey amongst business professionals in the US, UK, Germany and France.
Global trends summary:
- Workspace:four times more employees in 2018 perceive working from home to be the most productive option for them, compared to 2015
- Hindering factors: Noise, specifically colleagues talking to each other, is still considered the number one deterrent to workplace productivity
- Mobility: The workforce has become more mobile between 2015 and 2018
- Meetings: Office workers see lack of preparation (38%), decision-making (30%) and attendees coming in late for a meeting (30%) as the key obstacles to productive meetings
Country specific key findings:
- US: According to 50% of employees, discussions without a proper direction are the main obstacle to productive meetings
- UK: Half a working day (43%) is spent away from the desk at the office, be it walking around (13%) or driving to places (9%)
- France: The majority (56%) of employees listen to music to focus or block out office noise
- Germany: Half of office workers (52%) are negatively affected by colleagues asking questions or dropping by for a chat
Global business battle
Research has shown that, on average, employees are distracted at work every three minutes and that it can take us as long as 25 minutes to refocus. In a world where businesses are striving for every possible efficiency and productivity gain, there is an imperative to resolve the age-old conflict between collaboration and concentration.
Work is an activity, not a place
Home office has emerged as a clear winner when it comes to productivity, with four times more employees in 2018 perceiving working from home to be the most productive option for them, compared to 2015. Nearly one in three (28%) UK employees consider working from home to be the most productive – yet, interestingly, the majority (60%) are not allowed to. This highlights that UK businesses still have a long way to go in providing flexible working options for their employees.
Although noise is still considered the number one deterrent to workplace productivity, fewer office workers in the UK (38%) and US (35%) listed noise as an issue in 2018 compared to 2015. The type of noise that annoys office workers in all countries most is colleagues talking to each other in their direct vicinity. Nevertheless, it is a positive trend that in some countries people start to experience less noise disruption, proving that technology like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) has had a significant impact on noise perception and increasing workplace productivity.
Greater mobility of staff
In the UK, on average almost half of a working day (43%) is spent away from the desk at the office, be it walking around (13%) or driving to places (9%).
Office workers see lack of preparation (38%), decision making (30%) and attendees coming in late for a meeting (30%) as the key obstacles to productive meetings. The Millennial workforce (18–35 years) in particular find discussions without direction (46%) to be the biggest cause of unproductive meetings, highlighting that businesses must look into ways to improve their internal meeting structures to ensure the most productive use of time.
Bjoern Ekner, Senior Director Product Marketing at Jabra said, “monitoring the state of modern office work is a key initiative for us and I am pleased to once again share our insights. In order to understand the dynamics of knowledge work, we have to stay curious. We need to create the optimal environment for office workers to thrive and eliminate what gets in the way of their focus and the ability to collaborate. This year’s number one hurdle for productivity in the workplace, was once again noise. I hope managers and leaders will join Jabra in helping secure the ‘concentration zone’ for our employees.”