How high (or low) are your productivity levels at work?


If you work in an office environment, it’s quite likely you’ve heard the term productivity. But, do you actually know what productivity means? Research from global recruitment agency PageGroup suggests that half of British workers don’t!

Of course, productivity can mean different things to different people. But, the most popular productivity definitions chosen by British office workers surveyed were ‘finishing all tasks within deadlines’ and ‘getting all my work done within working hours’. With eight in ten of us working out of contracted hours – and around four in ten of us doing this often or always – efficient time management strategies are becoming even more important.

Perhaps most worryingly is that only a third of those surveyed by PageGroup believe high levels of productivity are reached on an average working day and almost seven in ten feel pressure from senior management around improving productivity. However, it’s not all doom and gloom: most of us (78%) want to be more productive – and over one in four significantly so.

How productive are you on a daily basis? Choose one (honest) answer for each of the four workplace scenarios below:

1.       Approach to email overload
A. You block out one or two chunks of time during the day to tackle your inbox and outside of those times, colleagues and clients know to contact you via work instant messenger, phone or face-to-face.

B. You check all emails as and when they come through and spend long periods of time sorting and replying to them throughout the day.

2.       Smartphone habits
A. Your smartphone stays in your bag, on silent, during the day and you only check it before and after work, during breaks and at lunchtime.

B. Your smartphone sits on your desk, on loud, and you regularly check it for messages, personal emails or to browse social media between work tasks and meetings.

3.       Managing workload and deadlines
A. You set realistic deadlines after communicating with your wider team and those involved internally and externally. If you anticipate a deadline may not be met, you communicate and agree upon a revised time to complete the task.

B. You say yes to everyone, because you feel under pressure to please, look good and seem smart. You end up sacrificing quality of work in order to complete tasks on time and often fail to meet deadlines because you have too much work on.

4.       Attitude towards learning and development
A. You’ve asked or accepted offers for relevant training (internal or external) and set aside time for reading or learning about industry goings-on on during your commute or at lunch. You believe that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

B. You think access to online tools, resources and/or training would benefit your role and future career, but are unsure what your employer offers to employees and haven’t asked. You’re waiting until it comes up in a conversation with a colleague.

You answered mostly A: congratulations, you’re doing well in the productivity stakes! But you may still have some way to go. For top tips and productivity tools, check out PageGroup’s productivity unlocker to see how you could continue to improve.

You answered mostly B: it’s easy to think you are productive, but you have a few habits that are hindering not helping your productivity. Try the productivity unlocker to see how your typical working day measures up against the average office worker. You’ll also find ideas on how to improve productivity.

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