According to Streamliners, Inc, the average executive spends approximately 108 minutes every day reading and sending emails. Over a five-day work week, that equals nine hours of lost productivity. The Internet has led to a new workplace phenomenon: countless hours lost to non-work-related Internet surfing each day. Lost productivity means lost profits, and this is dangerous in a competitive marketplace in which workplace productivity is vital to survival. Creating a productive workplace is integral for a corporation to increase their profits and to thrive in today’s economy.
Workplace Productivity Statistics
According to the United States Department of Labor, annual average productivity from 2009 to 2010 increased 3.9 percent. There was a 4 percent increase in output, as well as a 1.4 percent increase in hours worked. In the last quarter of 2010, output per hour in the non-farm business sector increased by 2.6 percent and in the manufacturing sector by 5.9 percent. Of the manufacturing industries studied in 2009, the United States Department of Labor reports that labor productivity rose in 28 percent of them. This is down from 38 percent in 2008 and 56 percent in 2007. Likewise, there were double-digit rate declines in output and hours in seven out of 10 of these industries.
Changes in Workplace Productivity
Workplace productivity has steadily increased over the last century. High-speed assembly lines made it possible to produce merchandise faster than ever before. The automation of office equipment, the widespread use of computers, and the advent of the Internet has not only transformed office work but made business tasks quicker and easier than every before. For many years, America prided itself with having the highest workplace productivity rates in the world. Productivity rates in developing countries like China and India are threatening America’s advantage. While this may hurt some industries, there are benefits to this development, as well. American consumers may notice lower import prices and a wider selection of import varieties.
Threats to Workplace Productivity
While the Internet has transformed business and made it easier than ever to conduct business around the globe, it has also presented new challenges to workplace productivity. American companies lose hours of productivity daily to Internet abuse, or non-work related Internet for personal use during hours. Employees can easily access a plethora of time-wasting activities on the Internet, including email, sports sites, entertainment, news, gaming and gambling, online shopping, music and much more. Snapshot Spy reports that 64 percent of employees admit to using the Internet for personal reasons at work.
Increasing Workplace Productivity
Motivational incentives work well to increase workplace productivity. According to HR Village, money may not be the strongest motivating force in the workplace. Workers don't calculate the monetary value of every action they perform throughout their day. Instead, seeing projects through to their completion motivates employees. Every employee involved in work flow should be able to see the finished project once it's complete, allowing them to feel his importance in the project. Managers can increase workplace productivity by treating employees fairly and giving them a sense of playing an important and integral role in the company. Praising employees, helping them set goals that ensure timeliness and work quality, and creating and implementing disciplinary guidelines are all good ways to improve productivity.
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