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Friday, October 21, 2022

Measuring Productivity in a Hybrid-Work Environment

Measuring Hybrid Work. 

No More Butts in Seats? Measuring Productivity in a Hybrid-Work Environment. From APQC

Productivity is an enduring hot topic among macro-economics nerds and managers in charge of operations, quality, and improvement programs. But current trends—notably remote work, rapid turnover, and the controversy over “quiet quitting”—have gotten more people thinking about what productivity really means and how it should be measured. Some leaders are struggling to set sustainable productivity goals that balance efficiency, innovation, and employee engagement. Further complicating the issue is the challenge of assessing effort put in by remote workers and the need to manage costs in the face of economic turmoil and fluctuating talent pools.   

But what is the actual current state of productivity?

The answer, it depends on which lens you look through. 

At the macroeconomic level, the U.S. Bureau of Labor reports that productivity (defined as output/hours, or throughput) declined in the second quarter of 2022—to the tune of 4.1% in the non-farm business sector. This includes a 1.4% decrease in output and a 2.7% increase in hours worked. But the current dip follows a 2.2% increase in productivity between 2019 and 2021. 

It’s easy for someone worried about quiet quitting to ascribe lower productivity to TikTokers doing the bare minimum at their jobs. But this ignores the fact that hours worked went up, not down. A recent study by Microsoft uses “productivity signals” from across the 365 platform (including hours worked, activity levels, and meetings) to show that employees are working more than ever.   ... ' 

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