Survey: Employees have favorite days, times to function.
If you have an especially important task for workers, a new survey suggests you should give it to them on a Monday morning and almost never late in the day. Respondents also say that even when they want to be focused and productive, they are distracted by chatty coworkers (32%), office noise (22%), unnecessary or unproductive conference calls and meetings (20%), cell phone calls/texts (15%), and unnecessary emails (11%). Read on for more data from this survey, then find out what changes in schedules or workplace environment might make your teams more productive.
Among other key findings from this survey:
· More than half of respondents say they are most productive early in the week—Monday (29%) and Tuesday (27%), followed by Wednesday (20%). After that peak productivity drops to 13% on Thursday and 11% on Friday.
· Nearly half (44%) of workers say they are most productive in the early morning, while 31% do their best work in late morning. Only 2% say they are most productive at lunchtime.
· Workers age 55 and older prefer to work in a private office with a closed door (45%), while 18- to 34-year-olds (38%) say they like working in an open office. Younger employees also expressed greater enthusiasm for telecommuting.
· Productivity varied somewhat by region. For instance, workers in Nashville (21%) are most likely to be productive on Fridays, while employees in Denver and Houston are most productive on Tuesdays.
Want to boost productivity. There are a few easy fixes:
· Encourage workers to minimize distractions, for instance, by silencing their cell phones and putting them out of sight, as possible, or putting up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign. If feasible, give them the option of working offsite on projects that require concentration and privacy.
· Have employees produce to-do lists and check off completed items. At the end of the week, meet with them to discuss what they weren’t able to accomplish and why. It may be that they (or you) are expecting too much or allowing too many unexpected projects and interruptions to get in the way.
· Give people who aren’t effective at multi-tasking the ability to finish one project or activity before they take on another.
· Don’t assume everyone is productive at the same times. When possible, let night owls work later and early birds start when the sun comes up.
· If you and your employees have done everything possible but are still falling behind, consider asking for additional help or temporary reinforcements.