Who’s working hard and who’s hardly working: Productivity in India by profession

Viesturs Abelis 7.06.2024
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We’re back with another DeskTime productivity study and, today, we’re looking at productivity in India – but with a twist! Here are productivity statistics of workers in India by profession.

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Ever felt a pang of jealousy looking at the design department staring into the ceiling and waiting for creativity to arrive? Or perhaps you’ve wondered if the HR team ever gets any work done, since they always seem to be on a coffee break? Are the devs actually working or just watching Netflix all day? 

Who are the hardest workers? And who’s just simulating? 

We’ve got the answers (and it doesn’t look good for digital marketers).

Indian man checking labor productivity in India

Productivity in India by profession 

At DeskTime, we looked at the Q1 2024 productivity data of various departments of tech companies in India – anonymously, of course. Specifically, we compared six departments: Design, Development, Digital marketing, Sales, Support, and HR.

Here’s what we discovered:

  • On average, the sales team works the longest hours (~8h 20 mins), and digital marketers the fewest (~6h 40 mins).
  • On average, support has the most productive hours in a day (~5h 15 mins), while digital marketers have the fewest (~3h 50 mins). 
  • Despite working the longest hours, sales has the lowest productivity % (productive hours / total hours * 100) sitting at just 50%. Support makes the most productive use of their day with a 75.65% productivity rate. 

Note: Hours worked in a day is the time from arriving at work to leaving and includes idle time in between. Productive hours are time spent on work-related productive apps. 

Here’s the full productivity in India data:

DepartmentAvg. hours worked a dayAvg. productive hours a dayProductivity %
Digital marketing6.663.8557.81

Explaining the labor productivity in India data: Theories and general wisdom

Is there any rhyme or reason to the data? Is this just a snapshot of productivity in India or can we extrapolate the study’s results globally? Do these results offer any novel insights into profession productivity?

Without other studies to corroborate or refute the data, it’s hard to tell, as this is an under-researched topic.

However, by drawing parallels between these results and general ways of working in tech companies, it’s possible to put forth some potential explanations. Do take them with a grain of salt, as, unlike our study, they’re anecdotal and not data-based. 

Two men and a woman talking at a table

Why the sales team works longer hours

In a modern tech company, the sales team is the revenue engine, responsible for closing deals and nurturing leads. Their days are dictated not by internal schedules but by the timetables and urgencies of their prospects. With clients across time zones, late nights and early mornings are par for the course as salespeople make themselves available whenever the buyer is ready to talk. 

As a result, their days stretch and shrink (but mostly stretch) to accommodate clients, explaining the longer work days shown in our study. The low productivity, however, may simply point to downtime between calls. 

Why support is the most productive team

For a tech company’s support staff, there’s no such thing as “running out of work”. They respond to customer inquiries, troubleshoot issues, provide guidance on using the products effectively, and aim to resolve any problems or complaints in a timely manner. Typically, alongside real-time assistance requests, there’s a backlog of inquiries and issues, meaning support specialists always have something on their plate. 

This may explain why support is so productive – unlike other teams, they always have something to do and their workflows are rarely interrupted by meetings or planning. 

What’s up with digital marketers

Perhaps the most surprising result in the survey (for digital marketers such as myself) was that they work the fewest productive hours in a day. 

To be fair, it might be misleading to bunch all digital marketers together, as the specialties in this group differ significantly – the day of a PPC expert and a Social Media Manager will look wildly different. While the former may spend the entire day in Excel, the latter might spend theirs on social media. The trouble is that social media is often categorized as unproductive by employers, possibly skewing productivity statistics.  

Moreover, digital marketing involves a lot of project management, which translates to meetings, catch-ups, planning, and other tasks that are difficult to track automatically. 

But maybe these are just excuses and, as a group, digital marketers need to stop slacking! 

Help your team boost their productivity

DeskTime’s automatic time tracking is how.

Learn more

Notes on methodology and terminology

Here’s how we gathered the data for the labor productivity in India study. On DeskTime, employers can add user groups to their employees, e.g. Content Team, Backend devs, QA, HR department, etc. This allows employers to easily manage the productivity of their various teams. 

We took over 1,000 DeskTime users per user group and extracted their time worked and productivity. Everything was done anonymously. To ensure the insights are fresh and timely, we looked at data from the first three months of 2024.

As mentioned previously, hours worked in a day is the time from arriving at work to leaving and includes idle time in between. Productive hours are time spent on work-related productive apps expressed as a percentage of total time worked. 

Fun fact: We also looked at what were the top unproductive apps by department. We hypothesized that perhaps different departments kill time differently. However, this inquiry didn’t reveal any interesting insights – turns out, we all just like to browse social media. 

Woman and two men looking at productivity in India data

Discover your company’s productivity patterns with DeskTime

Is it true in your company, too? Does the sales team work more? Does support have the hardest workers? Are digital marketers just goofing around all day? 

There’s an easy way to find out – with DeskTime. DeskTime is an award-winning automatic productivity monitoring app that’s already used by thousands of companies in India and many more worldwide. DeskTime is perfect for hybrid teams. It tracks attendance, productivity, where and how time is spent, enabling companies and individuals to grow more efficient and productive. 

When it comes to features, DeskTime has plenty:

  • Project tracking for project-based work
  • URL and app tracking that helps with productivity measurement and provides a detailed overview of where your employees’ time is spent
  • Productivity calculation to help you spot your top performers and notice those struggling
  • Detailed reports – because data is power
  • Integrations with the most-used calendar and project management apps
  • And some extra features, such as Shift scheduling, Screenshots, and Absence calendar

Give DeskTime a go with our free trial, or start by exploring our demo account.

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