Workspace Results Vs. Presenteeism And A Conversation About Productivity

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for many reasons – but historically, workplace productivity isn’t one of them. With many companies providing remote and hybrid work flexibility amidst a waning COVID-19 pandemic, how can leaders keep physically splintered teams connected and dialed into goals? And even more importantly, how can you drive results versus presenteeism?

Presenteeism defined

According to – presenteeism refers to the lost productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning in the workplace because of an illness, injury, or other condition. Even though the employee may be physically at work, they may not be able to fully perform their duties and are more likely to make mistakes on the job.

Why is physical presence the wrong metric to focus on as business leaders? Because, while it may be a leading indicator for success with some employees, it’s not without its flaws. It’s harder than ever to track this metric with remote and hybrid work structures. And think about it, as a company and as an individual, the output and impact of the work is the most important thing to watch.

Return to office, but not a return to “normal”

Here at Infinity Group, we are working with many companies to create and implement return to office plans. We have noticed a trend. Companies want to create spaces for collaboration. Smart leaders are also rethinking their relationship to time. It sounds a bit meta, but here’s a breakdown of what we mean.

We all have a fixed 24 hours each day

We are in control of how we spend this finite resource. For most working adults in the Western world that means eight hours of work each weekday. So, if we are going to call a meeting and use up one of those eight hours, let’s be clearer than ever before about what we’d like to accomplish. If we want a breakout team meeting to brainstorm a new idea for two hours, could that be accomplished in an hour with each team member doing 15 minutes of meeting prep work ? If an employee is commuting more than an hour each way each day, is that really the best use of their time? Could productivity and trust levels be enhanced by allowing employees in good standing to stack face to face meetings on two or three days and work remotely on focused tasks the other days?

It’s always been about results

Productivity is key to getting results that serve both the employee and company. According to Forbes, when employees and teams are engaged, they are more productive, resulting in a potential increase in profits by 21%. Finding the right people also matters. According to, superior talent can be eight times more productive than the average worker.

Cue the music

What about enhancing productivity in the physical workspace? According to our friends at Robert Half (we completed a collaborative workspace redesign for them) 71% of people agree that listening to music boosts work productivity.

Don’t freeze out productivity

If the work environment is too cold, then 53% of employees might be less productive according to CareerBuilder.

Refocus, and minimize interruptions

According to a report in the Washington Post, work interruptions can cost you 6 hours a day.

If your team is missing in person collaboration, and you need a thoughtful approach to your return to the office, our expert commercial design and build team is ready to help. Contact us today to get started.