We all know that  efficiency and productivity are important for success in the workplace. But which one do you value more? 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of efficiency and productivity and how they impact your business to achieve the best results. 

Let’s begin with this real-world example of Productivity vs. Efficiency- Real World Example of Productivity vs. Efficiency

In the 1970s, China was fifth in the list of top manufacturing output countries. The list was topped by the USA, USSR, and Japan. But, in 2010, China emerged as the highest manufacturing output in the world, outplaying the USA.

As per a 2015 study, China is the undisputed leader in global manufacturing, having a production output of $2.01 trillion; this far surpasses the USA’s figure of $1.867 trillion and Japan’s tally of $1.063 trillion. As such, China accounts for an astounding 20% of all worldwide manufacturing output.

How did China make it happen?

China has earned its renowned reputation due to the cost-effectiveness of labor and production. In 2018, Chinese manufacturers were paid an hourly wage of only $5.51 per hour compared to American businesses, which were paid $26.99 an hour. These low input costs, combined with several government incentives and cheap raw materials, enabled China to reap remarkable productivity results.

Did China produce quality results?

An hourly wage comparison between China and the US reveals a significant difference. This explains why, for example, generic mobiles can be found at much lower prices in China than in America. However, with these lower prices comes poorer quality – an accurate reflection of what you truly get for what you pay for.

It is clear that a productive rate does not always equate to excellent goods and services. Chinese commodities are famously low-cost and this, naturally, continues to draw customers in. For the highest standard of quality, one should strive to reach a good balance between productivity and effectiveness. Before this can be done, though, the respective efficiency and productivity must be calculated.

How To Measure Productivity?

Measuring productivity is vital to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of a process, product, or system. You can measure productivity by tracking the number of tasks completed within a given time period and assessing their quality. 

labor productivity


There are several other methods for measuring productivity, including:

  • Tracking customer satisfaction
  • Measuring defects and error rates 
  • Tracking costs associated with inputs 
  • Comparing production levels to standards

Employees who remain driven, diligent, and on-task during work hours will increase their productivity by generating greater output in less time. Productivity can thus be quantified by assessing the amount of production accomplished per hour.

How To Measure Efficiency?

Efficiency can be measured by assessing how much output is produced relative to the amount of input used. This can be done by dividing the total actual output by the total standard output and expressing it as a percentage. 



To measure efficiency, you should look at various factors such as 

  • Cost
  • Output quality 
  • Customer satisfaction

The best way to measure efficiency is to use key performance indicators (KPIs), which are numerical values that indicate the performance of an organization against certain goals.

 Examples of KPIs include production time per unit, costs per unit, and error rate. Tracking these KPIs can help identify areas for improvement and enable the organization to achieve maximum efficiency.

Productivity vs efficiency

5 Big Challenges That Stop You From Becoming Productive and Efficient

1. Time Management

Time management is one of the biggest challenges to becoming productive and efficient. We all get an equal number of hours in a day, and it’s up to us to decide how to use that time. To be productive and efficient, you must develop effective time management skills. 

First, you need to create a plan that works for you. It might include setting daily, weekly, or even monthly goals. Make sure these goals are realistic, attainable, and aligned with your overall purpose. Set aside dedicated time for each goal, allowing yourself enough time to complete it without any distractions. Planning can help you become better at managing your time.

Another tip for better time management is to prioritize tasks. Take some time to list your tasks and rank them from highest priority to lowest priority. Then, focus on completing the most important tasks first. This way, you can ensure that the essential tasks get done promptly, and you don’t waste time on less important tasks.

2. Distractions

Distractions come in many forms, from the continuous notifications from your smartphone to the constant urge to check your social media accounts. These can be difficult to overcome, but you must take a moment to identify what’s causing these distractions and try to find ways to minimize them. 

That might mean turning off notifications, deleting apps you don’t need, or leaving your phone in a locker/drawer while you work. Taking proactive steps toward eliminating distractions can help you stay focused and productive for longer periods of time.

Do you know?

On average, it takes a person 23 minutes and 15 seconds to regain focus after experiencing distraction.

3. Procrastination

Procrastination is a natural part of being human, but if you’re looking to become more productive and efficient, it can be a real problem. 

To combat procrastination, it’s crucial to identify the cause of your procrastination. Are you struggling with a lack of motivation? Are you overwhelmed with the task at hand? Are you avoiding something because you don’t know how to do it? 

Once you identify the source of your procrastination, it’s much easier to create strategies to stay focused on the task at hand.

Also Read: Procrastination vs. Productivity: What Does The Future of Work Look Like?

4. Perfectionism

Perfectionism can be a real challenge when it comes to productivity. Perfectionists often take longer than necessary to finish tasks because they constantly try to get everything “just right.” Instead of striving for perfection, it’s essential to focus on progress. 

Set realistic goals for yourself, keep track of your accomplishments, and celebrate small wins. It will help you stay motivated and stay on track toward meeting larger goals.

5. Boredom

Sometimes, boredom can be a major challenge to becoming productive and efficient. If you’re not motivated or inspired by the task at hand, it can be challenging to focus and put in the necessary effort. 

One way to tackle this challenge is by breaking the task into smaller, more manageable chunks. This way, you can focus on one part of the task at a time instead of getting overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done. It also helps to set aside time for breaks between tasks so that you can rest and refocus your energy.

Also Read: How Can AI change the Face of Workforce Management?

Use AI Technology To Overcome Your Challenges To Become More Productive!

Workstatus is an AI-powered workforce analytics software to help individuals and teams become more productive.  It provides time tracking and productivity management tools to streamline workflow and promote efficiency. 

productivity and efficiency at work

Source: Accenture, Frontier Economics

Workstatus can help people manage their workloads better, identify distractions, set goals, track progress, collaborate with others, create invoices, and provide detailed reports that can be used to evaluate performance. 

Key Benefits:

  • Increased visibility and accountability with detailed time tracking reports
  • Improved communication & coordination among teams
  • Ability to easily measure employee productivity with metrics and analytics
  • Enhanced project planning capabilities
  • Streamlined payroll processing through automated timesheets
  • Access to data that allows you to better allocate resources and optimize processes
  • Track URLs visited and apps used to identify and address time-killing activities
  • Download iOS and Android apps

In addition, Workstatus remote monitoring capabilities ensure everyone is working when they should be and in the right place at the right time. With these powerful features, businesses and individuals can become more organized and efficient while gaining greater insight into how their team performs.

Get started now with your 7-day free trial here>>

Closing Thoughts

Efficiency and productivity are integral elements of any successful workplace. Productivity is the measure of output produced for a given input, whereas efficiency pertains to a deeper analysis of resources used, time taken, and quality ensured to produce said output.

Technology can make work easier, quicker, and more efficient by automating repetitive tasks, empowering employees to finish assignments rapidly, and improving team cooperation.

Utilizing mobile phone technology can help employees be productive and successful regardless of location. Implementing the most recent technological tools can significantly and positively affect a company’s profits.


Ques. What is more important, productivity or efficiency?

Ans. Efficiency and productivity are both important in achieving success. Productivity focuses on the quantity of work done, while efficiency concentrates on reducing the amount of effort or resources needed to complete a task. The most effective strategy is to prioritize productivity and efficiency together, utilizing one to improve the other.

Ques. How can Workstatus increase productivity at the workplace?

Ans. Workstatus can increase productivity at the workplace by providing real-time analytics on team progress and performance, encouraging collaborative decision-making processes, introducing flexible work arrangements that allow employees to work at their own pace, creating a positive work environment with rewards for outstanding results, and implementing feedback loops that promote continuous improvement.

Ques. Can productivity be possible with low efficiency?

Ans. No, productivity cannot be achieved with low efficiency because productivity requires achieving desired results efficiently and promptly. Low efficiency implies that desired results are taking longer to accomplish than expected, which means it is not productive.

Workstatus-Manage your Time