A Look at Workers' Productivity
People who work on site confess to spending time chatting at the proverbial office cooler (if you can still afford one), trekking outdoors for a cigarette break, or just updating their Facebook status when they should be researching cheaper vendor options. Most employees will admit, when pressed, to working only 6 to 7.5 hours of the full day for which they are paid.
Of course, many people insist albeit inaccurately that they work more than eight hours. According to Schurenberg’s Memo on Bnet’s Moneywatch, people exaggerate the number of hours they work not just to impress others but also to scare off anyone who might be thinking of going after their job. Once they begin to believe the tales of their own worth, they tell themselves they deserve lots of extra little breaks—because they’re working so-oh-oh hard.
What about the people who work at home? According to CareerBuilder, 29 percent of telecommuters insist they are more productive working from home than on site. With another 34 percent claiming to be equally productive in either venue, that leaves 37 percent who actually admit they are less productive while working at home. In fact, 41 percent of female telecommuters wear their pajamas while telecommuting, compared to 22 percent of male workers. You’d better ix-nay the video conference with that swell new client if you’re not sure what your networked associates will be wearing.
I stumbled across a short but interesting thread on the subject of productivity on Amazon’s amazing Askville. One respondent described the time he had outpatient surgery and came up with an idea to solve a perplexing company problem while he was still in a “twilight" state. So, wasn’t his time in surgery billable as time actually worked?
Besides anesthesia and surgery, what are other activities that interfere with the productivity of off-site workers? CareerBuilder says the biggest distraction for the telecommuter is the call of household chores—31 percent of people stop working because they answer a call to the kitchen—to do dishes or take out the trash, I guess.
The next biggest distraction is the television at 25 percent. Even I, hard worker extraordinaire, confess to one bedeviled writer’s block day when I trekked to my sister’s house and watched Judge Judy from her swimming pool (actually in the water) sipping an iced tea. Surprisingly, children pose the smallest distraction, at 15 percent. At least it’s good to know, if we pay people to work from home, 85 percent of them have figured out what to do with the kids.