- Mondays are workers most productive weekday and mornings are their most productive time of day, according to professionals surveyed by Accountemps. The Robert Half company said more than half of the 2,800 workers polled said they hit their peak productivity on Monday (29%), followed by Tuesday (27%) and Wednesday (20%). However, productivity declined after midweek, survey results showed, with 13% of respondents choosing Thursday and 11% choosing Friday as their most productive days.
- Respondents also reported their preferences for work environment; those ages 55 and older preferred an office, with 45% favoring a private office with a door. An open office was the top response among workers ages 18 to 34 at 38%. Among respondents' top distractions for lowering productivity in the workplace were chatty and social co-workers, followed by: office noise; unnecessary meetings and conference calls; cell phone use; and unnecessary emails.
- "Employers can play to the unique strengths of their team by knowing when and how they're most productive," Michael Steinitz, Accountemps' senior executive director, said in a statement. "If you can provide access to their preferred workspaces or bring in temporary professionals to help staff reach peak productivity, do it. What matters most for the bottom line is the work employees get done — not where and when."
Workers differ in where and when they can work most productively. The challenge for employers is how to accommodate their entire workforce to achieve maximum productivity. Although the youngest demographic surveyed by Accountemps cited teleworking as their second choice for work environment, respondents, on the whole, favored working in the office.
Data on worker preferences highlights how diverse perspectives can be. Other studies cite remote work, especially work-at-home arrangements, as the favored location for workers. A 2018 FlexJob survey found that 65% of 3,100 workers said they would be more productive by working from home. Among the reasons were fewer distractions (75%), fewer interruptions from colleagues (74%), less stress from commuting (71%) and fewer office politics (65%). In fact, nearly a majority of workers in this survey said they left or would consider leaving a job without a flexible work option. Results of a Spherion Staffing Services study showed that close to half of respondents would only accept a job offer if it came with flexible work options.
Along with giving workers more autonomy and flexibility, remote-work policies can also enable talent professionals to recruit from a wider talent pool — one not restricted to their organizations' local regions. If offering remote-work options is part of accommodating employee preferences, then drafting a policy might be a best practice for HR departments.
"If you put a policy out there that all employees or most employees are allowed to work from home a certain number of days or hours a week, you need to be thoughtful if that applies to the whole workforce," David Moore, employment attorney at Laner Muchin in Chicago, previously told HR Dive.