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A Scientific Method to Measure Your Team’s Productive Time

In today’s working world, time is extremely valuable. Over the past year, we may think about how much time we save commuting and how much time we waste at home with new distractions. We think about the time we spend in meetings and the time we spend outside of meetings. We know that how we spend our time at and outside work is crucial to balancing personal well-being and productive time at work.

Given the value of this data, we decided to categorize our activities in a smarter way to understand better how we allocate our productive time. This week, we presented a method for categorizing productive time into three main types: Focus, Collaboration, and Multitasking.

Types of Productive Time.

1. Focused:

This is work time where there are no distractions or multitasking, and the person is focused on a single task.

2. Collaboration:

This new category of work time is done through two-way communication using digital collaboration tools such as meeting software, chat, and messaging. Collaboration time is very important in any business, but by definition, it is unfocused.

3. Multitasking:

Refers to a production activity in which multiple tasks are performed in a short period.

Useful Tips for Dealing with This New Knowledge

1. All Productive Time Is Valuable:

We often value some types of time more than others. We praise focus over multitasking and recognize and appreciate the self-discipline required to stay focused. However, if we believe that “focus = increased productivity,” we sacrifice other time critical to the company’s bottom line. We brainstorm, exchange ideas, solve problems, and spread new ideas. People who multitask often manage others, work with different applications to gather information, and balance competing priorities throughout the day. It’s important not to praise one type of time over another.

2. Different Roles Have Different Time Intervals:

Responsibilities fulfilled by a series of actions. It is, therefore, important to compare the productive allocation of time in similar roles and avoid comparing dissimilar ones.

3. Variability – A Key Indicator:

Employees fully integrated into the team generally have a stable use of their time from week to week. Projects and goals may vary, but the work required is more predictable. Deviations from the norm are an important indicator of when help is needed. Rather than assessing the breakdown of production time, focus on changes over time.

When analyzing these new time breakdowns for your team, combining this data with other data from the Premium Report is helpful.

  1. If adjustments need to be made to multitasking time, review the causes of inefficiency in “Performance → Causes of Inefficiency” to better understand which applications divert focus.
  2. If you need to adjust the collaboration schedule. Consider where the collaboration is taking places, such as messaging applications or meeting software. Refer to the “Technology Usage → Acceptance” section. You can also use the Major Changes Report to see where certain applications tend to go up or down. This report is useful if you have made suggestions for reducing collaboration time.
  3. If you need to adjust your concentration time. You will find the average length of a productive session in the “Performance” section. Use this to set goals for the coming weeks. For more information, click on the “Causes of Inefficiency” tab and review the applications most likely to cause distractions.

While each role has its time allocation, you must establish a way of working within your team to meet their expectations. Communicate the new productivity time allocation to your team. Also, discuss how you can help them spend their time on the things that matter most.

About Productivity Software

In order to help businesses maintain high productivity, EMS, an employee desktop monitoring application, provides helpful features like time and attendance tracking, inactive/active time, and other features.


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