ActivTrak Productivity Lab Report: More Than One-Third of Employees Still Face Risk of Burnout

  • While deep work is hard to come by, employees demonstrate a 40% increase in productivity

The ActivTrak Productivity Lab today released the 2022 State of the Workplace: Productivity and Engagement Trends report, a new study of the digital workplace revealing that 34% of employees continue to be overutilized at work, spending more than 75% of their time in this state compared to only 27% for their healthier peers. Meanwhile, there are hopeful signs of increasing work-life balance: employees now work fewer hours per day with greater efficiency, yielding a 40% jump in productivity. Productivity is defined as the amount of time an employee spends using “productive” business applications.

“Our goal at the Lab is to help organizations leverage people, processes and technology to address these obstacles, and achieve sustainable workplace productivity.”

The Productivity Lab report includes two years of anonymized insights from 56,713 employees and 2.7B data points collected across 177 companies via ActivTrak workforce analytics platform. Conducted in partnership with Kimberly Gordon of the Cornell University Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies, the research delves into three areas of study: Workload Balance & Utilization Levels; Workplace Focus & Distractions; and Work Habits & Schedule Flexibility.

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Key Findings

Workload Balance & Utilization Levels data shows that while the length of a workday returned to pre-pandemic levels, workload balance remained a challenge for many who have difficulty unplugging:

  • Only 62% of employees maintain a healthy balance of productivity to work hours, falling significantly short of the 80% goal the Productivity Lab recommends.
  • Overutilized employees spend 6 consecutive days in this unhealthy state, 1 day longer than the typical 5-day work week and 3X more time than healthy employees.
  • Employees at the greatest risk of burnout spend 79% of their days in an overutilized state

“As the data shows, many companies and employees have done exceedingly well to recalibrate workplace habits and expectations, and carve a better path to work-life balance. Unfortunately, many also continue to struggle with burnout, management challenges and resource constraints,” said Gabriela Mauch, Head of Productivity Lab. “Our goal at the Lab is to help organizations leverage people, processes and technology to address these obstacles, and achieve sustainable workplace productivity.”

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Workplace Focus Habits & Distraction data reveals that distractions today look very different than they used to:

  • Deep work is hard to come by: only 3% of employees have focus sessions that last longer than 50 minutes, with 70% of employees averaging closer to 14 minutes.
  • Collaboration tools account for 21% of distractions, interrupting employees an average 70 times per day.
  • Employees spend 33% of their time on collaboration tools and multi-tasking activities throughout the day.

Work Habits & Schedule Flexibility data confirms that despite the lack of traditional routines and structure, employees are finding their footing in more dynamic remote and hybrid work environments:

  • 70% of employees consistently start their day within the same 2-hour window and are 18% more productive than their peers who have greater start-time variability.
  • The time spent in productive applications increased 40% from 4:37 hours to 6:28 hours, while the overall amount of time worked decreased.
  • Consistent work on weekends, defined as 2+ hours/weekend for 4+ consecutive weeks, decreased 11%.
  • 95% of employees in a single time zone overlap work hours from 11am to 3pm, or 50% of an 8-to-5 day.

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