Useless Productivity Studies

from the get-over-it dept

I’ve talked before about why I think most productivity studies are useless – and here’s yet another example. Some firm has come out with a study saying that online holiday shopping at work will cost companies half a billion dollars in worker productivity. They even go on to explain their methodology and why it was “conservative” and the actual numbers are probably a lot higher. This study is useless. All it really turns out to be is a good press release for them, and something that will make employers more paranoid, and more likely to buy monitoring software. The biggest faulty assumption is that any time an employee spends not shopping online is time that he or she would have spent working. It also assumes that worker productivity is exactly correlated with time. That is, they assume that any particular minute spent working is just as productive as any other minute spent working. Isn’t it possible that a short break to clear your mind might make you more productive at other points in the day?

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