150+ Interesting Knowledge Worker Statistics
9 min read

150+ Interesting Knowledge Worker Statistics

Here are over 150 knowledge worker statistics that illustrate who these professionals are, challenges they face and how they work.
150+ Interesting Knowledge Worker Statistics

Do you need to understand more about knowledge workers, how their work life is changing and other trends impacting professionals? Then look no further. I’ve collected, curated and vetted a list of up-to-date statistics below. Keep reading for the most interesting and useful knowledge worker statistics.

Productivity Statistics

The average employee is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes per day.

The average working time prior to a break is approximately 52 minutes for the top 10% of most productive employees

Engaged employees are more productive, resulting in a 21% increase in profits.

The average employee is interrupted from their work 56 times a day.

The average American worker’s net productivity has increased by 253% in the last seven decades.

The average employee spends two hours a day recovering from interruptions.

Superior talent can be up to 8x more productive than average workers.

Also, according to some studies, multitasking can reduce employee productivity by up to 40%.

On average, an employee wastes 2.09 hours daily on non-work-related activities.

When distracted, an average employee takes 23 minutes to regain focus.

41% of stressed employees state that stress negatively affects productivity.

65% of workers claim to be more productive during the holidays.

$1,967 per employee per year – The average productivity losses linked to fatigue.

65% of employees state that they’re more productive during the holidays.

Companies that have high employee engagement enjoy 17% more productivity.

Those in the top 25% of employee experience enjoy around 3x ROI and 2x return on sales.

Email spam costs employers an estimated $21 billion in lost productivity.

Facebook costs employers $28 billion in lost productivity.

Fantasy football costs employers $18.7 billion in lost productivity.

60% or less of workday hours are spent on productive work.

The average employee spends 28% of the workday focusing on unnecessary distractions.

It takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus on a task after a distraction.

Workers spend 27% of office hours feeling disorganized.

Workers spend 40.1% of their day multitasking.

Multitasking is a major hindrance, causing $450 billion in lost productivity worldwide each year.

84% of organizations think that transforming their workforce experience can improve productivity.

Teams with highly engaged employees have a 21% greater profitability than those who don’t.

When faced with a bad boss, 48% of workers stated that they intentionally decreased their work effort.

Internet usage in the workplace accounts for а 40% loss of productivity.

Work overload decreases productivity by 68%.

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Employer Engagement Statistics

15% of global employees are engaged in their work, 18% of employees are actively disengaged.

The annual losses from lost productivity due to employee disengagement is $483 to $605 billion.

Lack of employee engagement with their job costs employers $550 billion each year. On the other hand, insomnia costs employers $63 billion.

High levels of positive employee experience increase the level of discretionary effort by 100%.

Engaged workers contribute to a 17% increase in overall productivity.

An increase in employee engagement can increase retention rates by up to 87%.

Companies that have an employer brand and strong employee value proposition experience a 28% reduction in turnover.

Engaged teams achieve 17% higher productivity, 21% greater profitability, and 10% higher customer ratings.

Highly engaged employees are 41% less likely to be absent from work.

Increased employee interaction can boost performance by up to 20%.

High performers are approximately 15% happier than their counterparts, and happy employees are 12% more likely to be productive.

Employees who feel that their feedback is valued are 4.6 times more likely to be empowered to deliver the desired results.

Only 1 out of 4 employees believe that their employer takes their suggestion and feedback seriously.

In one study, a 1,000% increase in errors was found amongst disengaged employees versus engaged employees.

Implementing a strong company culture can reduce the employee turnover rate by 34%.

46% of job seekers said company culture is a deciding factor in whether or not they accept a job.

Team leadership is the number one factor when it comes to company culture, highly skilled leadership earns a 27% increase of profit per employee.

Companies with teams that work together well do not spend as much money per year on health care as companies that don’t.

Employees are six times more likely to be engaged in a job where they are utilizing their strengths every day.

89% of employees in a 2019 survey indicated that they would be more productive if their jobs had more game-like elements.

Work-Life Balance Statistics

66% of workers don’t feel like they have a work-life balance.

83% of Gen Z and Millennials don’t feel they have a work-life balance.

94% of service professionals work over 50 hours each week, even though the average workweek is 35 hours.

Only 23% of companies think they promote work-life balance in their organization.

Around $190 billion is spent each year to address the physical and psychological effects of burnout.

Work-life balance is an important factor when determining a job, according to 72% of respondents.

Work overload reduces productivity by 68%.

79% of employees think flexibility promotes work-life balance.

3 of the top 10 most productive countries are Scandinavian where the average employee does not typically work more than a 40-hour work-week.

Employers that encourage work-life balance to double their company’s productivity.

Workplace Statistics

Work attendance dips by 19% during summer.

On any given day it is estimated that one million workers are absent from work due to work-related stress.

Work-related stress costs businesses approximately $602 per employee each year.

Around 500 million workdays and $500 billion in productivity are lost because of workplace stress.

78% of employees indicated they are more likely to seek other employment when faced with toxic workplace culture.

Companies with high stress levels will pay 50% more than other companies in employee health care coverage every year.

80% of the global workforce don’t sit behind desks, making engagement difficult.

86% of modern employees prefer to work alone to reach peak productivity.

61% of employees say that a loud colleague is a major distraction in the office.

91% of employees would be more effective during the workday if the workspace was better organized.

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

Employees are at their most productive when the office is comfortable, between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Employees who exercise before work have been shown to have a 15% increase in productivity.

Open office layouts might contribute to a drop in overall wellbeing for 32% of employees and a 15% reduction in productivity.

65% of employees report using the internet for non-work purposes throughout the workday.

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Remote Work Statistics

83% of workers believe that they don’t have to work in an office to be productive.

More than 67% of employers see an increase in productivity from remote workers.

In a 2018 workplace survey, 64% of business leaders found that offering flexible working options positively impacted productivity.

In a 2020 survey, 71% of employees and 83% of employers deemed working from home a success.

57% of remote workers reported that they were more productive when working remotely, while less than 17% reported that they were less productive.

On average, workers are 13% more productive when working from home, and overall worker productivity in the U.S. has increased by 5% since the start of the pandemic.

71% of employees want a hybrid or remote working style after the pandemic.

49% of remote employees reported a high level of exhaustion following multiple online meetings each day.

55.8% of those who work from home say that lack of social interaction is the most annoying thing about the setup.

53.7% of employees who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic say smartphones were distracting them and resulted in reduced productivity.

30.4% of employees who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic say gaming distracting them and resulted in reduced productivity.

Communication Statistics

269 billion emails are sent each day around the world.

Employees open only 24% of the emails they receive.

On average, employees spend about 28% of their work week reading or responding to emails.

The annual cost of unnecessary emails is $1800 per employee.

46% of employees communicate with colleagues via email, phone, or instant message to keep away from the distractions caused by face-to-face interactions.

85% of employees unproductively spend up to two hours per week searching for work-related information.

86% of executives indicate that ineffective communication is the most significant cause of productivity issues.

By fully utilizing social technologies for communication, the average productivity of knowledge workers could increase by 20 to 25%.

Video conferencing can save up to 30% in travel costs.

94% of businesses that use video conferencing regularly indicate that it also improves productivity.

86% of professionals agree that poor communication results in workplace failures.

It costs a 100-person company a yearly sum of $528,443 to correct poor communication, spending an average of 17 hours per week on the task.

78% of workers see the need to prioritize communication in their organization.

52% of workers have seen negative financial outcomes as a result of ineffective communication.

52% of workers have reported increased stress levels due to inefficient workplace communication.

86% of executives and employees see ineffective communication as a key factor in workplace failures.

Meeting Statistics

On average, professionals attend 62 meetings every month.

On average, professionals spend at least an hour out of every workday sitting in meetings.

In the United States, there are around 55 million meetings held each week. That’s at least 11 million per day.

Time spent in meetings has been rising by 8% to 10% annually since 2000.

50% of these meetings are considered a waste of time by employees.

Employees spend about 31 hours in unproductive meetings each month.

45% of meeting-goers have felt overwhelmed by the volume of meetings on their calendar.

78% of workers believe that their meeting schedules are chaotic, 38% assign fault to the upper management, while 16% blame their direct manager

Unnecessary meetings cost $37 billion in salaries for US businesses every year.

Organizations spend roughly 15% of their time on meetings, with surveys showing that 71% of those meetings are considered unproductive.

A recent survey found that 67% of employees complain that spending too much time in meetings hinders them from being productive at work.

The remote work model increased the weekly meeting time by 10%, resulting in three additional meetings per week, per employee

44% of participants in a survey said that sudden or unscheduled meetings mean that they do not have enough time to focus on their work.

64% of employees are more excited about meetings when they are well-planned.

Middle managers spend 35% of their time in meetings.

Senior management spend 50% of their time in meetings.

As many as 85% of Americans believe they could do their job just as well with fewer meetings.

40% of employees consider impromptu meetings from their colleagues stopping by their workstations as a key distraction.

Research suggests that employees spend 4 hours per week preparing for status update meetings.

More than 35% of employees found that they waste 2 to 5 hours per day on meetings and calls, but they have nothing to show for them.

68% of professionals lost time because of poorly planned meetings.

89% of employees complain about “ineffective or poorly organized meetings”

69% of employees check their email frequently during a meeting.

73% of meeting-goers perform other work during meetings.

49% of employees admitted that they do other unrelated work during meetings rather than paying attention to the meeting agenda.

91% of employees daydream in meetings.

80% of respondents say that communicating virtually makes them more strategic with their daily work.

Survey results show that 29% of participants prefer Tuesday as the favorite meeting day, while 25% prefer Wednesday.

47% perceive Monday as the worst day for meetings, while 40% choose Friday as the worst day

70% of workers believe virtual meetings are less stressful than regular ones.

80% of American professionals believe there should be one day a week with no meetings.

Nearly 79% of working professionals believe virtual meetings are equally or even more productive than in-person ones.

80% of professionals now attend more meetings than they did in the office.

The number of annual Zoom meeting minutes is over 3.3 trillion.

Roughly 32% of workers are more likely to multitask when the video and mic are off.

54% of employees think their boss needs to get better at facilitating discussions in meetings.

64% of employees say the best way to get them excited about a meeting is to plan it well.

Networking Statistics

85% of positions are filled through networking.

70% of people found a job through connections in a company.

35% of job seekers find out about job opportunities through friends.

24% of those looking for work find out about job openings through their professional connections.

84% of people get their job through weak-tie relationships—acquaintances or casual contacts whom they saw only occasionally.

61% of professionals agree that regular online networking can lead to job opportunities.

Only 25% of professionals actually network.

41% of professionals would like to network more but don’t have enough time.

88% of professionals consider networking to be crucial in furthering their careers.

Companies earn $12.50 for every dollar invested in face-to-face meetings.

The close rate for face-to-face meetings is 40%.

38% of professionals find it difficult to maintain their business relationships.

Final Thoughts

I hope these stats helped you understand the current state of today’s knowledge workers, and highlighted some changes that are impacting professionals. All told, there are over 1 billion knowledge workers in the world who have a big impact on the economy, and society. I hope these statistics have made it clearer who they are, challenges they face and how they work. If you want to learn more you should read my commentary on the top 10 knowledge worker statistics.

Before you go: I have interviewed 500+ professionals, surveyed thousands more, and I am always probing for their best tips, tricks and hacks to get ahead. There are five that stand out above the rest and you can get them right now by joining my free email list. You won’t find these ideas anywhere else.