The recipe for productivity
Reading time - 6 minutes

The recipe for productivity

28th March 2017
By Candice Choo

Do you work in an office or at home? Then Tuesday 9-11am is your best time to be productive and Friday 3-5pm is when you’re procrastinating.  Having to-do lists and flexitime helps you the most and a loud atmosphere and a lack of sleep will do the most harm to your productivity according to the recent study of 2000 UK employees who work from home or in an office.

We all have times where we’re super productive and others where we struggle to get any work done, so we went out and discovered what, where and when the best times to be productive are.

So whether you’re an employee or employer, its best you take note of this if you plan to do work or need to ask for work from your colleagues. To make it nice and clear, we’ve split the results into five main categories so you can see where you fit in by the overall results, gender, age, sector and productivity ratings.

Overall results

Here’s what you need to look out for:

When they’re most productive When they’re least productive
When employees who work from home or the office:
·        Have had sufficient amount of sleep
·        On a Tuesday
·        Between 9-11am
·        Are offered flexible working
·        Have a to-do list
When employees who work from home or the office:
·        Have had a lack of sleep
·        On a Friday
·        Between 3-5pm
·        Are working in a loud environment
·        Waste time talking to colleagues, reading the news or are on their phone

Productivity by gender

Here’s what you need to look out for:

Gender When they’re most productive When they’re least productive
Female ·        Have had sufficient amount of sleep
·        On a Tuesday
·        Are working alone
·        In a relaxed environment
·        Have had a lack of sleep
·        Are working in a loud environment
·        On a Friday
·        Have a lack of energy as a result
Male ·        When they’re working alone
·        On a Tuesday
·        Have music playing
·        In a relaxed environment
·        Are working in a loud environment
·        On a Monday
·        Had a lack of sleep
·        And have a lack of energy as a result

Productivity by age

When we analysed the results by age, we saw that with age – not only comes wisdom – but so does productivity. The 18-24 year olds gave themselves the lowest productivity rating and the 55+ year olds rated themselves with the highest productivity.

When it came to 18-24 year olds, 57% said that their wage has the biggest positive effect on their productivity levels.
Almost a third of 25-34 year olds say that Monday is their least productive day and 55+ year olds feel the least productive between 3-5pm on a Monday.

Key learnings:
If you’re 18-24, your wage tends to strongly influence your productivity and thus motivation, so make sure you’re happy with your wage before you agree to accept a job!
Anyone older than 25 years old? Monday’s aren’t your day to get everything done!

Productivity by sector

Productivity also differs by what sector you work in:

  • Marketing, advertising and PR – 62% stated that music has a positive effort on their productivity
  • Accountancy, banking and the finance sector – more than a fifth are more productive when they exercise regularly
  • Public services sector – 37% are more productive if they’re happy with their wage or salary
  • Education sector – 44% feel that they’re less productive when there are many meetings scheduled in
  • Hospitality or events sector – nearly a half feel the most productive on a Monday
  • Energy and utility sector – 85% waste time at work, with half of these spending their time procrastinating on their phone
  • Engineering and manufacturing – 62% admit to wasting time at work with half of them online shopping during working hours

Key learnings:
Marketing, advertising and PR employees, music is your friend! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Work in the energy and utility sector? Get off your phone! Its making you lose your productivity.
Hospitality and events sector employees – do your bigger tasks on a Monday, when you’re most productive!

Productivity by ratings from 1-5

Here’s what you need to look out for:

Productivity rating When they’re most productive When they’re least productive
1 ·        Playing music (42%)
·        Working on their own (33%)
·        Lots of sleep (30%)
·        Lack of sleep (33%)
·        Loud atmosphere (27%)
·        Lack of energy (24%)
5 ·        Working on their own (43%)
·        In a relaxed working environment (41%)
·        Have lots of energy (40%)
·        Lack of sleep (48%)
·        Loud atmosphere (47%)
·        Colleagues interrupting them (43%)

Key learnings:
If you’re looking to be the most productive, you can learn from both those who give themselves a 1 out 5 and a 5 out of 5 for productivity.
If you want to stay productive, make sure you’re working on your own in a relaxed environment and have enough energy, and make sure you avoid working in a loud atmosphere, haven’t had enough sleep because you won’t have enough energy.

So there you have it. The recipe for productivity. And if there’s anything to look out for, avoid a lack of sleep and a loud atmosphere, because it won’t put you in that productive mind-set. If you plan to fit in a lot of work in a short amount of time, make sure you’ve had enough sleep so you have enough energy.