Employee productivity and overall unemployment are certainly related. But a new post highlights some of the finer points of this connection.
The article comes from our friends at OnlineCollege.org, a resource site for people interested in online education. Their post is actually a roundup of viewpoints on employee productivity and unemployment from around the web. They write:
When it comes to productivity, few of us consider the big picture. Being more productive at work means much more than just being able to finish more work in a day or getting your boss to notice your work ethic; it can also have a marked effect on the economy as a whole, especially when considered in relation to unemployment levels. These two markers of economic success (or distress as the case may be) are intertwined in a number of complex ways and the relationship between the two isn’t always as clear cut as we might think.
To put things in perspective, here’s an infographic about current unemployment rates:
In this context, unemployment can directly lead to more productivity. For example, the article argues:
If your employer was making major layoffs, how would you act around the office? If you’re like most people, you’d step up your game, working hard, staying late, and becoming as productive as possible so as to appear more indispensable to the company. In some cases, increased productivity may be the direct result of the threat of unemployment, much as unemployment may be the result of increased productivity
Broadly speaking, this is true. Fear of job loss can inspire people to work harder. But will that increased effort be sustainable? Will they burn themselves out and have take time off to recover? And doesn’t it imply that they weren’t working at 100% in their first place?
In an ideal world, recessions should not have any impact on individual worker productivity. But many people operate in a business environment where actual productivity is not as important as looking busy, putting in face-time, and warming up to the boss.
Is your organization one where productivity fluctuates with fear? Or is it one where people focus on getting things done, not playing politics? Let us know in the comments!