Time’s a-wastin’, and employees face a number of issues that hurt their ability to be productive, according to the results of a study conducted by the Harris Poll and commissioned by the work and project management company, WorkFront. The online survey contacted over 600 individuals, a third of whom are marketers, to find out the manner in which work is managed in enterprises, and what concerns employees have.

Respondents said that they are able to spend only slightly more than a third (36 percent) of their work week on their core duties and responsibilities and half of the workweek is consumed with checking email, wasteful or unproductive meetings, administrative tasks, and other unnecessary interruptions and distractions. Among those areas that hinder productivity:

  • 64 percent say wasteful and unproductive meetings are the biggest drain on time;
  • 61 percent identify email as interfering with productivity; and
  • Almost half cite excessive oversight and redundant bureaucratic structure as well as a lack of work process standardization as the cause of inefficiency.

But, while meetings and emails seem to be issues, 60 percent identify face-to-face meetings and 55 percent say emails are the most effective means of communication.

However, lost productivity is not shrugged off as routine. Those interviewed also hinted that they are putting more into their work to keep up or stay ahead, including:

  • More than 75 percent saying they work 40 hours or more a week
  • 56 percent are logging in to work or their work email after hours on a daily basis with almost 90 percent logging in after hours at least weekly
  • Over half log into work or work email during weekends

But despite the seemingly negative tenor that employees may have about productivity and work load, more than eighty percent or more say they are listened to in the workplace, their work is recognized, and they feel they are productive employees although 83 percent lament that their paychecks could have a little more heft to them, given their contributions to the company.


eMarketer. “US Marketers Say Excessive Emails Impede Their Work,” November 23, 2015.

Workfront. “The State of Marketing Work” conducted by The Harris Poll,” October 27, 2015.