LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 11, 2021 / The 52/17 work/break model has been updated, with results showing that the most productive people work significantly longer, but also take longer breaks. The data shows an even larger increase in both work and break duration since the start of the pandemic, with the most productive people now working in 112/26 – nearly two hours of work and half an hour of breaking.
The original study, conducted in 2014 by productivity software DeskTime, found that the 10% most productive people worked on average 52 minutes, followed by a 17 minute break. DeskTime has repeated the study, and found that work/break duration has been steadily increasing, seeing the most significant growth during the pandemic. If until February 2020 the ratio had grown to 80/17, it has now reached 112/26.
The study identifies the 10% most productive people using the DeskTime time tracking platform according to the software’s productivity rating, which is defined as the percentage of time using productive apps as opposed to those deemed unproductive.
It was found that the duration of work/break cycles has been increasing since the first study was published and that the pandemic has accelerated the rate of this growth. This can be attributed partially due to the findings that to the rise of work from home, which has roots in both longer computer hours due to online meetings, as well as a blurred line between work and life, leading to longer work hours.
“The pandemic has seen a drastic rise in people working from home. We’ve also seen that people find it difficult to draw the line between work and life. This points towards a major shift in managerial needs, to learn to efficiently manage a remote or hybrid workforce. DeskTime is just one part of the equation, but used correctly, it provides remote employees with the transparency to end their workday and take much-needed daily breaks.” – Artis Rozentals, CEO of DeskTime
In addition to a rise in the duration of working periods, the study also sees a rise in the duration of the following break. While the 52/17 ratio points towards a 3:1 work/break rhythm, the pre-pandemic data has risen to 4:1, and the current data, while longer in duration, retains the 4:1 ratio. This can be considered a significant increase, as it drastically reduces the amount of breaks taken in a workday, from 7 under the 52/17 ratio, to 3.5 within the 112/26 ratio.
“At first glance, one may think that working remotely has led to longer breaks, and as such, improved work-life balance. However, a statistical increase in burnout rates and demand for psychotherapists speaks to the contrary. When working from home, work and home life responsibilities merge together, and breaks become longer. People used to use breaks to make a coffee, stretch their legs, or relieve themselves. Now, they use breaks to put in a load of laundry, help children with schoolwork, make their family lunch, and more. As a result, these breaks are no longer a treat, but rather even more work.
Meanwhile, if a meeting used to result in leaving the computer to go to a meeting room, now meetings happen on screen and result in even more computer time. This may be an indicator as to why longer hours are being recorded. Throughout my work, I’ve found that people are spending much more time in meetings than previously.” – Katrina Osleja, Mg.Psych., Organizational Psychologist
As the pandemic continues, and as workforces continue to work remotely or in a hybrid model, it becomes increasingly necessary to equip workforces with the tools and skills necessary to maintain productivity and health when working from home.
DeskTime is used by over 350,000 people and 15,000 companies worldwide. The sample was taken using the 10% most productive DeskTime users, amounting to 35,000 individuals. DeskTime is headquartered in Riga, Latvia, with an office in California, USA, and is part of the Draugiem Group.
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