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At what time of the day do employees complete the most tasks?

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Sustaining eight hours-plus of intense focus daily is more of a Utopian dream than the reality of the modern day workplace. Most of us come into the office determined to check multiple items off our checklist, pump out a few tasks, go for lunch, then gradually deteriorate into cat videos and Skype chats.

However, there are certain times where we’re more likely to get our work done, identified in research by Redbooth and Priceonomics, total number of tasks reported as completed across thousands of users.

Here are the key findings on employee productivity:

  • On the typical day, the most tasks (9.7%) are completed at around 11am.
  • After lunchtime, our productivity drops — and it completely plummets after 4pm.
  • We complete the most tasks at the beginning of the week, on Monday (20.4%).
  • We’re least productive at the end of the week (Friday, 16.7%), and unsurprisingly, get virtually nothing done on the weekends (Saturday + Sunday, 4.7%).
  • The highest percentage of tasks are completed in October (9.5%); the lowest percentage of tasks are completed in January (7.2%).

How productivity varies during the day

Most people don’t really get going until 7am (a typical start time), and after 5pm (typical finish time), work quickly tapers. The percentage of tasks completed (9.7%) peaks at 11am — just before lunchtime. After 1pm, productivity never quite returns to its peak, confirming that a post-lunch dip is real.

Broadening the scope to a week, the highest percentage of tasks (20.4%) are completed on everyone’s least favoirite day of the week: Monday. Tuesday (20.2%) is just behind — and after that task completion perfectly tapers off as the days progress toward the weekend.

Only 16.7% of tasks are completed on Fridays, making Friday nearly 20% less productive than Monday. And on weekends, we clearly are work averse: we collectively get about 4.7% of the week’s tasks done on Saturday and Sunday.


Infographics / Redbooth

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