Category Archives: News

The most productive and unproductive countries of the world in 2017

DeskTime surveys every minute of over 250,000 employees in 105 countries around the world. As a result, we have a significant amount of productivity-related data that we can use the compare the de facto productivity of people around the world.

We’ve collected and compared data that shows us the most productive and unproductive countries in the world, based on their DeskTime productivity metrics. That is – the amount of time spent at work and the ratio of productive vs. unproductive apps they use.

We considered countries that had 100 DeskTime users or more, to achieve statistical significance. Of the 105 countries using DeskTime, 67 qualified under this criteria, making a total of 768 companies participating in this roundup.

So what are the most productive countries in the world, and which programs do they use?

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The 9-5 Workday is Making Everyone Miserable

Dr. Paul Kelley, an academic at the University of Oxford, believes the traditional 9-5 schedule is making everybody miserable and sleep-deprived. He maintains that instead of trying to stick to a system that isn’t natural to our bodies, we need to overhaul our schedules to revolve around our circadian rhythms.

Most of Dr. Kelley’s research examines how early start times in educational institutions negatively affect student performance, particularly adolescents. However, his findings carry over to the corporate world. Adults don’t adapt to a 9 AM start time until the age of 55. So until that point, we’re all torturing ourselves trying to make it work.

During Dr. Kelley’s tenure as the head teacher at Monkseaton Middle School, he changed the school’s start time from 8:30 AM to 10 AM (a similar experiment is ongoing) and found that the number of top grades increased by 19%. If a delayed start time brought about these positive results in a school setting, what would happen if we applied a similar change to the corporate world? Are people more productive when they show up to work later in the day?

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Do Shorter Workdays Make Us More Productive?

Sweden thinks so, as several companies are experimenting with 6-hour workdays. They’re reporting greater profits, happier employees, and, perhaps surprisingly, more productivity. With North Americans typically working an average of 8.7 hours a day, it’s hard not to be envious of our Scandinavian counterparts.

The length of the workday has evolved over time. The Industrial Revolution saw the boom of factory work and middle-class jobs. Most people employed at factories worked an average of 10-16 hours a day, six days a week. This didn’t change until Henry Ford implemented 8-hour workdays for his employees in 1914. This standard has stayed the same since.

Maybe the rest of the world should take a cue from Sweden and re-evaluate the standard workday. Employee needs have changed since the early 1900s and it’s time to accommodate new norms and working conditions.

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Top time sucks of 2014 (and how to deal with them)

Every year thousands of hours are wasted at work. A study by Salary.com found that according to 26% of employees surveyed, the Internet is their number one distraction.

While web is a critical business tool, its misuse in the workplace could cost businesses more than $178 billion annually in lost productivity, as calculated by Websense. Your Facebook check doesn’t sound that guiltless anymore, huh?

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Music doesn’t increase your productivity (but it helps you get more stuff done)

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Listening to music at work is still an individual thing – one can find it helpful, while others, disturbing. Yet, various studies claim that it’s able to boost overall workplace performance.

In a survey by Spotify, respondents admitted that music helps them do more because it creates a relaxing state, which makes them less nervous and fatigued, more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.

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Conflicts at workplace erode productivity, a study shows

Conflicts at workplaces are inevitable, and even necessary for progress. However, if handled poorly, it can lead to significant productivity loss, a recent study shows.

A study in New Zealand found that 24% of employees surveyed have had at least one disagreement or argument at work that distracted or prevented them from doing their job. Because of conflicts employees become less focused on their jobs, they make more mistakes and tend to miss deadlines. Other consequences include loss of motivation and self confidence.

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