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How to Calculate Productivity at Work: A Complete Guide

Discover how you can quantify and improve productivity at work to boost efficiency, streamline workflows, and achieve optimal results.

By Shayna Waltower  •   February 2, 2024  •   7 min read

Productivity means different things to different people. One of your team members might think it’s the number of calls they make per day; another team member might think it’s how much revenue they bring in per quarter. 

Since there’s no one way to look at productivity, getting everyone on the same page about how you’ll measure success is important. Below, learn how to calculate productivity at work and take efficiency to the top.

Why calculate productivity in the workplace?

Keeping tabs on your team’s productivity helps ensure every task, project, and operation runs at peak efficiency. Plus, when it comes to your precious resources, calculating productivity shows you where you’re making the best use of time and money. It also means you can more easily find and get rid of inefficiencies.

When you see how productivity adds to the bigger picture, you can help everyone better understand how to keep processes running smoothly. This way, you can steer your organization toward more streamlined operations.

Make every meeting productive

Fellow’s collaborative agendas ensure everyone shows up ready to contribute. Assign action items and sync them with your project management tools for accountability and cross-functional alignment.

Metrics for measuring productivity

Below are some metrics you can use to measure your team’s productivity.

Productive hours per day

This metric shows you how much time a team member spends actually getting things done. This includes the time they actively spend on tasks and the passive time that indirectly contributes to their productivity. To calculate this metric, divide the total amount of productive time by your total number of team members.

Productive session

Think about how much of your team’s time goes into responding to emails, attending meetings, working on small tasks, or taking client calls. When you add all this time up, it takes a large chunk out of your team’s workdays. 

The productive session metric measures the average time, in minutes, that team members spend focusing on work without getting pulled into other tasks. The higher this figure, the more productive your team is.

Productivity efficiency percentage

This productivity ratio shows how much time your team spends on productive activities. To determine it, divide the number of hours spent on productive tasks each day by the total number of hours worked per day. The result is a clear picture of how well your team is using its work hours.

Projects completed

Productivity often boils down to a straightforward figure: the number of completed projects within a period. This is a practical way to gauge efficiency for consistent, repetitive tasks. To use this metric, add up the number of jobs your team completes, then divide that number by the time the jobs took. This simple figure shows you how efficiently your team is completing tasks.

How to calculate productivity

It’s time to look at the main event: productivity itself. To calculate productivity across your team, divide total output by total input. This formula allows you to track productivity on all kinds of levels.

Say, for example, your team generates $100,000 worth of products over a period of 10,000 work hours. In this case, the output value is $100,000, and the input value is 1,000. Using the formula for productivity, the result is 100, which means your team produces $100 during each hour of work.

You can also use this formula to calculate each team member’s productivity. If, for example, the value of 50 team members’ produced services is $500,000, then the output is $500,000, and the input is 50. The resulting productivity value is 10,000, meaning each team member produces $10,000 worth of services. You can use this formula to calculate productivity by department, quarter, and other periods or groups of people.

Other methods to measure productivity

Not everyone loves crunching numbers. Even if you don’t mind collecting data and plugging it into formulas, there are other types of productivity measures you can use. These can give you a more thorough understanding of your team’s all-around productivity.

Soliciting feedback

If you’re looking for a direct and impactful way to measure productivity, think about going straight to the sources: your team members. Inviting people to share their feedback on productivity gives you a more complete view of employee performance

This approach, also known as 360-degree feedback, creates a collaborative environment where everyone’s input and contributions are valued. Constructive feedback sheds light on strengths within your organization and areas where you can improve as a manager. This opens the door to more accurate, well-rounded opinions on productivity.

With Fellow’s 360 feedback tool, you can easily and efficiently gather comprehensive feedback from the right people, clearly reflecting how your direct report is doing.

Using online time tracking and project management software

Digital tools can help you get a detailed view of what’s soaking up your team’s time. With many programs, you can track time by project and individual tasks to get a complete breakdown of how your team members spend their time. This makes it easy to pinpoint any tasks that are too demanding and find ways to spread out the responsibilities. With a tool like Fellow, you can also use the meeting guidelines feature and meeting cost calculator to evaluate and conduct more productive meetings.

Management by objectives

With management by objectives, you and your team fully agree to the goals set. Take some time for you and your direct reports to sit down and set challenging yet realistic goals. From there, make sure everyone has the tools they need to reach these goals.

With this approach, you push your team to pull off remarkable feats. When you compare your team’s accomplishments to what it achieved before, you’ll see an increase in productivity right before your eyes.

Total sales method

Total sales is a simple metric your sales team can use to track the amount of revenue it brings your organization over a period. This measurement shows you how well your team is performing while helping you find ways to improve work performance.

To calculate your organization’s total sales, multiply the number of products or services sold by the sale price of each item. Calculate these numbers every once in a while and see how they’ve changed over time to see how your team is progressing.

Considerations when calculating productivity

Here are some points to keep in mind to get the best results when calculating productivity.

Industry factors

Choosing a method for calculating productivity isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. You wouldn’t measure a fish’s climbing ability, right? Similarly, the metrics you choose should be meaningful for your organization and its industry. Every field is different, and understanding their differences is key to choosing the right productivity metrics for your organization.

Organizational targets and benchmarks

When calculating your team’s productivity, think about the goals and vision your organization charts out. Keeping these corporate benchmarks and targets in mind moves the needle in the direction you want your organization to go.

If, for example, your organization has a goal to increase customer satisfaction, focusing solely on output might not be the best use of your time. Instead, tracking customer support responsiveness or issue resolution times could put you on a more direct path toward reaching your goal.

Quality and efficiency measures

When it comes to productivity, more doesn’t necessarily mean better—balance your team’s productivity with efficiency and quality. Think of these elements as the three points on a triangle: Without any one of them, the whole structure tips over.

Your team could be cranking out tasks, but if their quality is slipping, there’s a missing piece in the puzzle. Set workflows that leave room for attention to detail, and make sure your team members are working smartly and in a timely manner. This way, you ramp up productivity without compromising on the quality your organization values.

How to improve productivity among employees

Once you’ve locked in your productivity goals and decided how you’ll track progress toward them, it’s time to get going. Here are a few ways to kick your team’s productivity into high gear.

Automate tasks

Working through mundane tasks can be time-consuming, from data entry to creating lists of names and contact details. AI productivity tools take over these tasks so you and your team can focus on high-value work instead. No more spending hours sifting through large amounts of data to fill out customer forms; instead, advanced data processing tools will automatically find and pull out relevant information.

The most integrated AI transcriptions and recordings

Say goodbye to disjointed AI tools. Fellow’s AI recording, transcription, and summaries are linked to every meeting and calendar so everything is in one place.

Improve employee engagement

Team members who are truly engaged at work aren’t just clocking in—they’re diving into their assignments headfirst and with care and enthusiasm. This starts with creating a sense of belonging and purpose among team members. 

Fair pay, regular feedback sessions, team-building activities, and recognition programs can all help here. Keeping employees engaged and motivated helps them feel connected to their work and colleagues, boosting their productivity.

Clearly define what productivity means for each role

Setting clear productivity expectations for each role is like laying out a straightforward guide to success. Your sales team should fully understand its targets just as much as your customer support team should know its service benchmarks. This wipes out any confusion, allowing everyone to coordinate their efforts more efficiently while taking charge of their tasks.

Improve productivity with Fellow

If you’re looking for the ultimate productivity tool, Fellow is the powerhouse your team needs—it transforms mundane meeting processes into highly effective collaboration sessions. Say goodbye to tedious manual hassles and let Fellow automate your repetitive tasks while enhancing your team’s collaboration.

Fellow’s AI Meeting Copilot can automatically transcribe, summarize, and generate agendas for just about every type of meeting. With over 500+ meeting templates available, Fellow allows your team members to save time when planning their meetings. With Fellow, you make room for your team to be more productive and achieve exceptional goals.

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