Top Tools and Techniques To Measure And Manage Productivity 

Employee productivity metrics help measure an organisation’s movement in the right direction in terms of human capital output. And highly productive employees are instrumental in their contribution towards organisational progress, helping achieve success in the long run. They’re more likely to move up their career paths faster than those who underperform. The attributes of productivity include a number of things – from hiring the right employees, to prioritising their well-being, and providing them with the right tools and resources for optimal performance.

Productivity is measurable and can be achieved by evaluating employee performance against total activities completed, work quality achieved, and the total time taken. There are many different techniques and tools used in measuring employee productivity, where many data points can help gauge whether your workers are performing as expected. 

In our post-pandemic world, productivity has become a more pressing problem than ever. More organisations and workers are opting for remote work one the one hand, while it is getting harder to supervise remote workers, and the many factors affecting their productivity on the other. The ongoing economic turmoil and the rising costs of living has not made it any easier – more employees are choosing to moonlight which often affects their performance at work #1. Notwithstanding the current Russian invasion of Ukraine and the tough winter ahead, which are further adding to the creeping sense of anxiety and uncertainty for the future. Therefore, there’s never been a more challenging and important time to retain employees, and improve their levels of productivity.

factors affecting productivity

In 2022, Gallup found that 60% of employees are emotionally detached at work, and almost one-fifth of the global workforce feel miserable at work. And around 79% feel disengaged one way or the other. The figures look pretty gloomy. But there is enormous room for improvement. 

Various reports note that both the employer and employee play a part in this impact. When a company spends more on production and generates fewer profits, it will not sustain itself for long. The organisation might have all kinds of production measures in place and the right business strategies to function but if its workers fail to perform optimally, it would lead to a collapse. In the current business scenario, many factors are affecting employee productivity. Here are the main reasons:


Moonlighting is a rising trend that is negatively impacting a lot of organisations. For example, between April 2020 and June 2022, the number of people holding multiple jobs increased from 4% to 4.8% according to a report by the St. Louis Federal Reserve. The Australian Bureau of Statistics issued a report that states almost 1 million Australians took a second job this year. The figure constitutes 6.5% of all employed people in the country. Further research shows that more than half of interviewed remote workers hold a second job and consider moonlighting to be a casual and harmless practice. The main reason is simple: employees have debts to pay, more bills, and want to feel secure.

Access to more online job portals has made it possible for employees to find a second or third employment in multiple companies. And they keep it a secret that they are hired by/ working for another or other companies. In this situation, while demand for productivity from employers remains unchanged, unfortunately, the number of working hours in a day remains limited, and such employees often find themselves falling behind schedules, wearing themselves thin, and doing poor work. 

It is hard to track moonlighting employees, but the negative impact is huge. They could be using the resources of one organisation to deliver work for other organisations. Data security can be compromised, and inefficiencies may continue to increase. If an organisation finds out their employees are moonlighting, they should be concerned to find out why. 

Organisations may consider increasing their pay or giving them allowances. If an employee is moonlighting to pursue education, they may opt to give them loans or help pay a portion of the fees. The management needs to have strict moonlighting policies and actions in place if consistent underperformance persists. The use of productivity monitoring tools is a good solution. 

Cost of living crisis

The Champion Health platform published a report in August 2022 highlighting that 34% of employees suffer stress due to the current cost of living crisis. At least 71% of employees experience moderate stress levels due to financial strains. The secondary effects of financial stress are fatigue, poor sleep quality, and anxiety. The report further indicated that 10% of employees are unable to be productive owing to financial stress. 

The most affected are the younger employers who are 25 to 34 years old. When more workers are suffering financial stress, organisation productivity plummets. Further studies show that financially stressed employees are likely to have suicidal thoughts or self-harm. Some organisations have tried to mitigate this with increased salaries by about 4.5%, but it still remains way below the current and ever increasing consumer prices.

Where possible, some employers are offering financial well-being support which is a good idea for other companies. Offering interest-free loans can help workers offset their hard pressing bills. Employers can help workers meet their healthcare needs by offering private healthcare, insurance, and other meaningful programmes that can help alleviate some of the individual situations. Offering financial education can help too by helping workers better manage their finances. 

A tough winter with the war

In 2004, Cornwell University conducted a research showing a correlation between workplace temperature and employee productivity. For example, when the temperature in the office started dropping, workers made 44% more mistakes. The situation changed dramatically when the microclimate was comfortable again (from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius).

This is explained by Greg Murray, professor of psychology at Australia’s Swinburne University, who said in one of his interviews that people are the least productive during January and February because these are the months when people are the most susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The effect is more in workers who lack proper heating and ventilation systems. This is because the employees focus more on keeping themselves warm and thus focus less on work. Some remote workers stay in bed as they work due to the cold.

When it’s too cold, people feel cold both physically and emotionally. They are likely to get flu or other cold-related ailments. It is easier to support employees working from company offices by providing reliable heating systems, however, employers could support remote workers through financial support so that they can afford better heating systems. Wage increases and housing allowances can help workers rent homes with better heating systems. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is impacting supply chains too globally. Both countries are major grain exporters, but the war is hurting this export. The world is experiencing sharp food shortages, which in turn is expected to lead to an increase in the cost of food and related consumable products. This is affecting employee budgets and causing the loss of jobs in many sectors. Perhaps starting a lunch programme is a great way to help workers save extra money to buy food at home. 

Productivity in a post-pandemic world

McKinsey Global Institute research notes that the pandemic caused the highest financial disruption since WW2. It disrupted supply, demand, and workforce. Organisations are still struggling with the effects three years on. Many companies have huge worker gaps and are working below expectations. The institute points out that it may take another two years until 2024 for normal productivity to return. 

Deployment of modern technologies can help accelerate productivity. These include digitisation and other technologies such as robotics and AI. These technologies should be accessible to remote workers. Many companies are offering more pay and an array of allowances to attract more workers and encourage them to work smarter. 

Future uncertainties 

Future uncertainties are directly affecting organisations in multiple ways. Some organisations are holding back from investing in technologies such as digitisation. Many others are holding back from hiring or innovating. Some companies opt to do their business online to help reduce the costs of operations. These uncertainties are forcing employees to apply to more than one job so that if one job fails, they will have another one to sustain them. 

Uncertainties in the supply chain are making situations worse where suppliers are find themselves unable to meet their promises to clients. To cushion themselves, many companies are adopting new products, practices, and processes. They are adopting new ways to upskill their workers to help them use limited resources for maximised productivity. 

metrics to help improve productivity

Based on your company goals, there are many different metrics you might use to measure the productivity of your team. Each measure is an express representation of the organisation’s output against the input. When you combine them, you can define the formula that will work best for you. 

During the process, taking screenshots is a good way when you want to capture certain details of the measuring process, share them with others, or save them for later reference. You can learn how to take screenshots on Mac or any other personal computer by reading tips or searching screenshot info from lecturers on this topic. To achieve a more detailed overview, it will be crucial to use employee productivity metrics on a wider scale. 

There are several workshops on YouTube to help you get the most comprehensive understanding of how to measure performance, and the different metrics that can help evaluate team productivity. 

Productivity metrics

Productivity is not that easy to assess. Therefore, metrics incorporate an array of key factors. To make your work easier, you can narrow them down into a few categories:

  • Total hours or days worked: To use this metric, measure the total time spent working or using applications that you can term as productive. 
  • Worker efficiency percentage: This metric measures how much time the workers were productive over the total hours worked.
  • Average productivity per day: Measure the total hours the workers are most productive daily. 

Focus metrics

Focus metrics are one of the key ways to measure productivity. Your team could be working for eight hours per day, but you need to know the time when they were most focused or uninterrupted. Staying focused is one of the hardest things to achieve, and people can lose focus for many reasons including: 

  • Demotivation: Demotivated employees can hardly focus for several hours. You need to understand the key indicators of demotivated employees and devise ways to keep them motivated. You can do it by allocating manageable tasks, giving rewards, and appreciating work well done. 
  • Disruptions: Employees can be disrupted by several things, such as their colleagues, phones, or poor planning when assigning tasks. Disruption elimination tools are effective in limiting disruptions and increasing productivity. 
  • Health: Unhealthy employees cannot focus. Health has a wider scope and can touch on mental, physical, infections, diet, and relationships. Your company can benefit more if you introduce meals for lunch and exercise time within the company. 

Work balance metrics

You can use work balance metrics in different ways. It measures the rate at which the employee completes tasks. If an employee often fails to complete their tasks, the reason could be they are handling too much workload, or they are not equipped with the right productivity tools. 

Another way to measure team effectiveness is to determine if they utilise the tools provided to the maximum. Measure also the time when the worker reaches the highest productivity pick and whether they are underutilised or overutilised. The final metric under workload balance is to measure the workload assigned against what the employee manages to complete each day. 

Revenue turnover metrics

Revenue turnover is measured by calculating total money earned over a given period against the total times the company makes or burns through assets. Team effectiveness is often affected by turnover, while profitability is affected by revenue. Revenue turnover metrics to measure your team’s productivity can be used as follows:

  • Revenue per worker: This metric helps you to see how much revenue each employee contributed to the company. This is calculated by taking gross revenue divided by total hours worked. From the revenue per hour you get, take the total hours per employee and multiply by it.
  • Growth of sales: This metric measures team effectiveness by calculating total sales achieved over a given period. The purpose of the sales team is not just to get leads or contacts but to get a higher conversion rate and sell more units. 
  • Overhead expenditure: These are business running costs such as utilities and rent. You can also include the cost of salaries, bonuses, tax, and training under this metric. 
  • Absenteeism and attrition rate: This is an important metric for measuring employee productivity. Absenteeism measures the total times an employee didn’t report to work. Attrition measures the rate at which employees leave the company to work with another company. It takes time and money to hire and onboard employees. If more employees leave the company, there will be a significant effect on revenue. 

Software solutions for measuring productivity

Work dynamics have changed in modern days with companies adapting hybrid working styles where some employees work remotely while others report to the office. With this working style, it is harder to measure productivity. 

Such scenarios require managers to adopt innovative and interactive team productivity tools to help them improve efficiency. When you realise that your team’s productivity requires substantial improvement, it might be the right time to learn innovative ways to increase productivity through efficiency. Software solutions are an integral part of this goal.


EMPMONITOR is one of the useful team productivity tools that come with excellent features and benefits. The tool provides you with real-time insights and monitors employees’ activities. It is an easy-to-use tool that generates detailed graphical reports for each employee. Among EMPMONITOR clients are Chingari (India’s prominent Short Video App), Monster (an energy drinks company), and Mydin (Malaysia’s largest retail chain). 


Basecamp is a good choice for employers with remote teams. It helps track their performance and the workload assigned to them. It puts everything into a centralised place where you can see how each remote worker is progressing in their tasks. Based on the report received, you can design strategies to help improve the team’s performance. This is a leading instrument for marketing and advertising purposes, widely used by such companies as The North Face, Inc.(apparel and fashion) or Blackfriars Group (financial services).


TimeCamp is best built for managing teams, both remote and onsite. It provides comprehensive analytics and insights into the total time each employee spent on tasks. Using the tool, managers can keep track of working hours, explore the scope of employee productivity and provide feedback to help improve the team’s performance. Also, this app helps specialists gain insights into the overall workload and obstacles teams overcome to reach their goals. Companies actively applying TimeCamp mainly represent the computer software industry. The entities usually consist of 50-200 employees and have up to 10M dollars in revenue. Interestingly, TimeCamp is quite popular among Danish and Canadian companies, such as Mindmill (marketing and ads) or Prinova, Inc. (computer software).


EmailAnalytics is especially useful when tracking the productivity of sales teams. These are teams that leverage email communication to achieve maximum sales. Despite the importance of emails, teams can become unproductive because of spending too much time sorting, reading, and responding to emails. 

This tool tracks the total emails received and sent by an employee. It measures the total time the worker spent on messages and their busiest time/days. It can help managers decide on the best tools to help workers spend less time on emails. EmailAnalytics is a trusted partner of Uber, Indeed, and Duolingo.


Hubstaff helps you visualise worker performance by giving you a clearer picture of the progress of their tasks. You can use it to set employee daily, weekly, or monthly goals. It helps you generate a summarised report of each worker’s work and share it with them to motivate them. It allows you to automate your settings, and it can be integrated with many applications. Among companies using Hubstaff for processing employee performance are Upwork Global Inc. and payever (a leading German e-commerce platform covering the whole sales cycle).

Useful tools that help productivity

It is challenging to enhance worker productivity today, but organisations can improve productivity using an array of productivity tools. Some of the tools include applications, AI, and plugins relevant to business needs. 

Emails play an important role in a company’s marketing strategies. Employers should adopt techniques and strategies that optimise their daily workflows. Some of the techniques include a centralised email creation workflow where marketing teams can produce emails super-fast. 

Different communication and project management tools offer advanced technological solutions to organisations. A company that uses advanced communication tools could save up to $420,000 annually, which is often lost in miscommunications. These tools include video conferencing applications and team messengers. 

Slack: Slack speaks for itself. Currently, this platform is one of the most effective for real-time remote communication. It is an excellent tool for creating stronger relationships among employees. Thanks to it, remote and on-site employees can harmonise their workflows easier. Among the companies actively using Slack are Revolut, Lockheed Martin, and Spotify.

Evernote: Evernote is built for taking and sharing notes. Employees take notes and memos and use the tool to share them across multiple devices. It can be used to upload voice messages, images, and different types of content. This platform is popular among companies in the computer software industry. Over 50% of entities applying Evernote are located in Japan. For instance, it is a must-have in Progress Wave Corp. (a leading Japanese company selling computers and peripheral equipment) and BIGLOBE Inc. (IT technologies). 

Trello: Trello is a project collaboration tool that helps employees accomplish more by prioritising tasks. It effectively helps manage remote teams most flexibly. It is noteworthy that Trello is a popular instrument among relatively small companies. However, among the companies using this tool are also bigger players and organisations such as Desk Plants or UNICEF.

Visyond: Visyond substantially improves the Excel experience. This platform helps specialists make thought-through decisions based on calculations. The program contains predictive dashboards and a strong visualisation toolkit. These features help teams enhance productivity, transfer Excel data, and secure them. Ericsson, one of the leading telecommunication companies in the world dealing with the provision of high-tech 5G network equipment, uses Visyond as one of its basic productivity tools. 

Flock: Flock is an important team messenger tool. It enhances communication between teams and collaboration during projects. It connects multiple teams where they communicate through chats. Managers schedule multiple tasks and follow up on progress. It can be integrated with a wide range of third-party apps. Among the companies using Flock are Navads (advertising, analytics, navigation), IdeaBoard (EdTech platform), and Koachr (management tool for coaching centres).

productivity optimising strategies

Every organisation desires to maximise employee productivity as much as possible. With improved productivity, an organisation gets more value for every dollar invested. More customers get satisfied while employees feel fulfilled for work well done. Improved productivity involves several factors that are not easy to achieve. With the right strategies and techniques, a company will effectively improve worker productivity. 

Be honest while recruiting and hiring

Some workers are self-motivated and don’t require to be pushed to work. It is expensive to sustain workers who are not productive. The recruitment and hiring process can help keep such workers away from the company. Self-sufficient candidates usually don’t need a nudge to pursue their goals. It’s perfect when people can do both, playing in the team and tracking their own workload. Finding such candidates is a tiring process, but it is worth it. However, while chasing numerous productivity metrics and disciplining employees, remember that candidates have ups and downs, and nothing human is alien to them. Looking for high-performers is totally fine, but not at the expense of compromising their work-life balance. 

Provide consistent employee support

Even the most independent and experienced employee needs supervision and emotional support. It is paramount in improving productivity. Both remote and workers in an office often encounter varying challenges in work delivery. There needs to be someone available to offer support when needed. Employers need to organise a way to provide personalised support to every worker. Support can be in terms of skills, morale, and technical support. Let’s not underestimate the role of empathetic leadership too. When managers build communication with employees based on transparency and trust, they are more likely to tackle possible challenges sooner and more effectively.

Optimise emailing

Employees spend a lot of time working with emails. This time can significantly be reduced by automating emails where all letters are accessed and sent from a centralised platform. The more you automate emailing and tracking process, the more time it will help you gain.

However, another crucial thing in email communication is what communications you receive. For example, nowadays, many companies are getting on the trend of email gamification. Employees get dozens of emails from colleagues and external partners, and not all of them are strictly work-related. Companies you’re liaising with with may introduce their new products or services in the communications or ask you to join their surveys. However short and sweet such messages may be, they also steal our time. Email marketing specialists know how valuable user attention is and try to catch you on the hook and pay more attention to their messages. Be aware of multiple marketing tricks because they can be actual thieves of time. 

Improve the onboarding process

The first few days are crucial for new employees. This is the best time to lay the foundation as the new worker starts a new journey working in a new environment. It is necessary to have an effective onboarding process to improve productivity. Use this time to introduce the company to the person and welcome the new team member. Lay the emotional foundation by navigating the person through various onboarding stages. Strike a balance between granting new team members enough freedom and not leaving them alone completely. People will reciprocate when the company shows that it values and respects its employees. Avoid making it a one-time lengthy process. Instead, do it in phases, ensuring the new worker is as comfortable as possible. Provide them with the necessary supervision, tools and resources.

Learn to delegate

Managers in a growing company often find themselves overwhelmed by multiple tasks. Struggling with delegating and prioritising may slow down the whole company. People often think they are the only ones who know how to do better. However, it is a popular misconception. If the team is based on trust and transparency, delegating becomes easier than expected. Train your employees first and show them all the necessary ins and outs to minimise errors, and you will see how effectively they can perform tasks you were afraid of delegating. 

use work tools and encourage communication

All employers require both hardware and software tools to enhance productivity. If the computers they are using are too old, employees will have challenges with speed. The software could be outdated, which affects speed and increases the chances of errors. Be sure to use the latest applications and the best hardware that ensures speed and keeps productivity levels high. 


Better collaboration helps teams to split tasks into manageable chunks that they can complete faster. It helps to have teams that are thriving, more productive, happier, and less stressed. There are several other techniques available that you can use to measure employee productivity. If you’re seeing a decrease in productivity, then implementing these tech-based techniques can help you improve team’s performance. 

Author: Deborah Wilson – Freelance Copywriter

Photo credit: wayhomestudio on Freepik

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