HR software provider Ciphr polled 1,000 UK employees to find out how they self-rate their productivity at work, and, importantly, how they perceive the productivity of other people and departments at their organisations.
The results revealed that most employees tend to rate themselves as being more productive than their colleagues. Although they do view their team-mates – the people they work with most closely with – as generally being more productive than other groups of employees.
Check out the key findings below:
- 92% of employees rate themselves as being productive or very productive at work
- 84% think their close colleagues/team are productive or very productive at work, but just 67% say the same about their organisation’s leadership team
- People who enjoy their job are more likely to have self-rated themselves as being productive or very productive than those who don't enjoy their job (95% vs 81%)
- One in ten think that their managers are unproductive or very unproductive at work. A further one in seven (14%) said the same about their organisation's HR department.
- 75% of leaders and senior managers rated their HR department as productive or very productive, compared to 62% of junior and middle managers and 61% of non-managers
- People who are 100% workplace-based appear the least inclined to rate their remote and hybrid colleagues as being productive or very productive. Just half (52%) of employees who are 100% workplace-based believe that people who work remotely are productive.
Does believing you are productive make it so?
Ciphr’s research appears to show a direct link between perceived productivity and a good employee experience. Workers who feel very productive are more likely to say that they enjoy their work and feel valued for it, than those who don't feel productive. They are also more likely to feel well-trained, and loyal to their organisation.
People who self-rate themselves as very productive are more likely to:
- Feel engaged/motivated at work (70% of surveyed employees agree)
- Enjoy their job/have job satisfaction (71%)
- Feel valued and appreciated for their work (61%)
- Think that they have received all the training that they need to do their job well (74%)
- Feel loyal to their organisation (67%)
People who self-rate themselves as neither productive nor unproductive are less likely to:
- Feel engaged/motivated at work (36% of surveyed employees agree)
- Enjoy their job/have job satisfaction (29%)
- Feel valued and appreciated for their work (33%)
- Think that they have received all the training that they need to do their job well (45%)
- Feel loyal to their organisation (38%)
How employees perceive the productivity of other people in their organisation
Productivity does, of course, means different things to different people. Most surveyed employees rated themselves as being more productive than their colleagues, but it's impossible to know whether that is actually true or not. What it does highlight perhaps is that there is a certain degree of distrust among employees that their colleagues are being as productive at work as they could be.
Ciphr's findings also revealed a significant disconnect between how people in leadership roles view their own productivity, compared to the average employee. While 99% of those in senior management self-rated themselves as being productive or very productive at work, just 67% of employees rated their leaders as productive or very productive.
Over three-quarters (76%) of workers in finance and insurance, retail, and IT and software say that their leaders are productive. Those in transportation and warehousing or manufacturing, however, are less likely to agree. Only around 59% of workers employed in those sectors think that their leaders are productive or very productive.
People employed in transportation and warehousing, finance and insurance, legal services, and government and public administration are the least likely to call their HR departments productive or very productive (57%, on average). IT and software workers are much more positive, however, with 82% rating their HR teams as productive.
The chart below highlight how survey respondents employed in different industries perceive the productivity of other people and departments at their organisations.
Factors that impact peoples' perceptions of productivity
Employee engagement is shown to have an impact on how people feel about different aspects of their jobs and organisations. According to Ciphr's research, people who feel less engaged or motivated by their work are less inclined to view other people's productivity favourably – even if they still see themselves as being productive or very productive.
For example, unengaged workers are far more negative about their manager's and leadership's productivity levels, than those who feel motivated by their work (see first chart below).
Where/how people work also influences their perceptions of productivity, with workplace-based employees shown to be far less trusting of their remote and hybrid colleagues when it comes to productivity and getting work done (see second chart below).
Ciphr conducted an online survey of 1,000 employed UK adults, working at organisations with at least 26 employees, in June 2023. The survey is unweighted, and as such is only a snapshot of the working-age population. The survey data included in this results page was not previously released/published until January 2024.