How many actual hours of work are really necessary?

Published on 09/04/2024

How many actual hours of work are really necessary?

Published on 09/04/2024
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How many actual hours of work are really necessary?

How much time do we spend working each day? Surely, many hours a day. But how many of those hours are actual work hours? Is all this time productive? That’s what we’re going to explore next.

We spend a lot of time each day in the office. Spain is one of the European Union countries where people work the most hours per day, but contrary to what one might expect, our productive hours are not higher than those of our neighbors.

Being able to identify and measure real working hours, in which employees were productive, and understanding why their productivity decreases, without affecting their privacy, is achieved through a good management system. At WorkMeter, we offer a productivity measurement software, which eliminates time thieves and improves work habits, optimizing performance and guaranteeing results. It is worth noting that it is also a very useful software for work performance and telecommuting control, both personally and for the company.

Based on the experience provided by WorkMeter, today we bring you data from real companies on:

– Office presence hours

– Total active time

– Productive time

– Non-productive time

Real working hours: main differences in productive hours

It seems logical to start with the actual time we spend at work from the moment we enter the office door until we leave it. More specifically, from the moment we log in to the computer until we log out or turn it off directly. This is what we have called “Active Range” and it includes time dedicated to breaks, lunches, interruptions, etc.

On the other hand, we understand “active time” or “activity” as the time spent interacting with the computer (online time) or away from it (offline time, manually reported). This activity can be divided into:

– Productive activity

– Non-productive activity

Productive activity (or productive hours) is the part of active time spent on applications considered productive. The Manager or supervisor will be responsible for configuring this in the productivity map of the software used for each group or job position.

As for non-productive activity, and as informative about the tool, only the employee will be able to see the detail of the applications used, thus preserving and respecting the employee’s privacy. The group manager will see the total time invested together, but never its detail.

Real data on productive hours in the office

Thus, according to the real data collected by productivity measurement software, the average presence hours we spend at work is 9 hours and 19 minutes, of which we work a real active time of 7 hours and 12 minutes if we exclude time spent on breaks, interruptions, lunches, etc.

As we say, this time may include activities such as meals or lunch, as well as very short breaks. And the platform also collects breaks where there is no interaction with the computer. It can be configured to display a pop-up window to the employee when they resume activity after a break, asking them “what have you been doing?”. All breaks shorter than the time set in this configuration will not be recorded by the tool.

Out of all the daily real active time, 6 hours and 34 minutes are considered productive hours; that is, time spent on activities that are considered productive by the organization for that specific job position.

As for the average non-productive time, we spend 38 minutes each day on activities considered non-productive by the organization. For each group or job position, a productivity map must be created that lists and categorizes which applications are productive and which are not.

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