Of those people who work an average of 45 hours per week, approximately 17 hours of their week is considered unproductive.   It’s not just one nation or geographical area, but this occurs globally.   The Personal Productivity Challenge conducted by Microsoft in 2005 sampled over 38,000 people in 200 countries, in 29 languages about their productivity.  The study was based on 18 statements about their working environment and has some unsettling findings.

• People work an average of 45 hours a week; they consider about 17 of those hours to be unproductive.

• More than half the participants, 55 percent, said they relate their productivity directly to their software.

• People spend 5.6 hours each week in meetings; 69 percent feel meetings aren’t productive.

• Only 34 percent said they are using proven scheduling tools and techniques to help them gain more free time and balance in their lives. Likewise, 60 percent said they don’t have work-life balance, and being unproductive contributes to this feeling.

• Women had an average productivity score of 72 percent, compared with 71 percent for men.

• The most common productivity pitfalls are unclear objectives, lack of team communication and ineffective meetings — chosen by 32 percent of respondents overall — followed by unclear priorities at 31 percent and procrastination at 29 percent.
(Source:  Microsoft Personal Productivity Challenge)

Improving productivity is like pulling money out of the garbage.If you are responsible for Profit & Loss, top line growth, cost management, or higher productivity, this study should have your attention.  What type of impact would it have on your organization if you could reclaim the 38% of vanishing productivity?  Most organizations would be able to increase profits, drive down costs, and simply get more done with existing fixed costs and resources.  Surprisingly, organizations can do this by implementing the right tools and processes that:

• Clarify and communicate goals of the organization in a way that is relevant to each individual.  This requires commitment, results based leadership and is the responsibility of leaders, managers, and supervisors.

• Links the contribution of employees to organizational goals and helps them see why they matter to the organization.

• Use communication, feedback and coaching to build motivation and commitment all while helping employee see how meaningful and engaging the drive for increased profits  and productivity can be.

Develop your people to be more productive and performance focused.

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About the Author
Chris Stowell
Christopher Stowell is currently serving as CMOE’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he works with multi-national organization to develop their people. His special interests lie in coaching teamwork, strategy, e-learning, and assessment design, and delivery. Chris has a special talent in helping companies assess their organizational effectiveness and identifying key issues and opportunities in order to advance their performance and achieve long term results. Additionally, he has extensive experience in designing, coordinating, and facilitating customized adventure based experiential training events for high performance teams.

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