Work measurement is the systematic determination of how long a task should take to complete. One of the most common types of work measurement is time study, according to Managers-Net.


Time studies determine how long a qualified worker under stated conditions can reasonably be expected to complete a task. For example, an international coffee shop chain may want to find out how long a barista should take to make a specific coffee drink. Some of the stated conditions may include using cold milk that needs to be steamed, rather than already steamed milk.


A qualified practitioner should observe the employee using a time measurement device. The observer should also assess the quality of work. For instance, a police officer or other law enforcement official would be an ideal observer in conducting a time study of police work.

Observed Person

The observed person in the time study must be fully trained in the measured task. A telemarketer, for example, must be fully trained and familiar with the sales script if the time study wishes to determine how long it takes to read the script.