Every business owner is concerned about productivity. It is one of the deciding factors that will determine the success, or failure, of any business, whether that business is large or small. 

Defining productivity is important in understanding it, and there are some myths surrounding this subject that we need to address so that we can do just that. 

Productivity is most often understood to be the amount of output produced by each worker. It is considered to be projected by measuring the number of items made by one worker in one hour; the more they make, the better their productivity. 

However, this is very simplistic, indeed. All work is not equal. You can’t compare the output of a factory assembly person with the work of a graphic designer; the expectations and goals are completely different, as are the end results. This way of looking at productivity exposes the first myth: That productivity can simply be measured the same way for any type of business. 

Another productivity myth is that a person who makes a big salary must be productive. In many cases this is not true. Or is it? If they are amazing managers who inspire an entire company to succeed, how is the value of that ability to be measured? Are they then more productive than the warehouse staff?

A third myth is that a shorter workweek will affect productivity adversely. This is actually not the case; many of the world’s biggest economies have been experiencing falling productivity. For example, figures from 2013 show that France was 13% more productive than the UK in that year, in spite of the fact that French employees worked fewer hours than those in the UK, and the country having more protective employment laws. (weforum.org)

There is also the assumption that the advancement of technology will automatically cause employees to become more productive – yet another misconception. The truth is that some of the most advanced economies are the ones struggling the most with their productivity. Here in the US, the global IT revolution has not had quite the impact that previous innovations, such as electricity and plumbing, had on productivity in the past. A productivity drop has been glaringly obvious in industries where digital and technological innovations were expected to improve it: information, communication, insurance, and financial sectors. 
I’m AnnaVija McClain. My focus is on helping small business owners be successful. If you have questions or concerns about the productivity of your business, let’s talk! Together, we can find the perfect business solutions for you.