Most discussions and lists of time management statistics start with some quip about how we all want more hours in the day, but that’s not really it, is it?

What we want—“we” covering businesses, owners, leaders, and team members—is a better day with more time focused on what we enjoy. At different times in our careers and lives, that might mean working on more engaging tasks or deep, focused work. Other times, it might be a shorter work day where we get everything done and then have more time with friends and family.

Achieving those valuable life goals is possible when people better understand how they use their time. That’s where time management practices and all our favorite time management stats come into play.

We’ve put together an extensive list of essential details to help you understand what might be getting in your way, where your team could improve, and what activities tend to come with time waste.

Knowing the risks can help you plan for them personally and professionally. Then, applying time management techniques can help weed out inefficiencies and waste, giving you a better and more productive day. 

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10 time management statistics you should know

  1. Spending 12 minutes planning a day can eliminate 2 hours of wasted time
  2. 82% of people don’t have a time management system
  3. People will try up to 13 different time management methods during their career
  4. 20% of people waste time at work because they’re bored or underemployed
  5. 20% of people regularly procrastinate their tasks
  6. 24% of people use an email inbox as their task and time management tool
  7. 80% of people do not feel that their work is under control each day
  8. People spend 51% of their average workday on low-value tasks
  9. U.S. companies lose $588 billion annually due to work interruptions
  10. Only 17% of people track their time
12 minutes of planning can eliminate 2 hours of wasted time each day

What do we mean by time management?

Time management is the practice of filling your day with the most essential or productive tasks to achieve your goals. That might mean creating a plan to complete projects or make sales calls at work. At home, it could be a list of chores around the house or simply trying to get small items out of the way so you can have a leisurely afternoon with your family.

Time management skills help you make the most of your day, whether you are planning to spend two hours or ten getting things done. 

Businesses benefit from a proactive approach to time management because it can help them reward their team and keep the lights on and doors open. For example, knowing that employees may spend up to two hours each day on social media at work could prompt you to give people a few breaks during the day or ban phones outside the breakroom.

 Poor time management in an office or remote work setting can cause:

  • Higher stress levels
  • Increased burnout risk
  • Productivity and efficiency losses
  • Higher HR costs around burnout and performance issues
  • Increased operating costs
  • Loss of revenue 

On the other hand, excellent time management skills and tools can save labor costs and increase job satisfaction by giving people a manageable workload with plenty of support. That often translates to more engagement and a better company culture, which has a measurable impact on customer experiences.

Time lost by average office workers per week

Hubstaff’s time management facts

Before we dive into general time management statistics and facts, let’s look at some of the latest research performed by experts here at Hubstaff. Our recent reports on daily interruptions and the global growth of remote work highlight some critical factors in time management:

  • Office-based employees experience 884 more interruptions each year than remote teams.
  • Remote employees perform an additional 62 hours (1.5 weeks) of work annually because they experience fewer interruptions.
  • The average office employee loses 6.52 hours each week getting back on task from an interruption.
  • Remote employees spend 22% more time on deep, focused tasks than in-office teams.

We’re conducting more research on the nature of remote work and its strengths. We look forward to continuing to share insights into time management facts that you can use to support remote and flexible work.

A majority of remote workers check work email after hours and on the weekends

Time management statistics at home

Time management at home can be a threat to your business, too. That’s because work-life balances are struggling, and lines are blurring. When someone engages in work activities while off the clock or during family time, they’ll hold that against their employer.

Here are a few stats to keep in mind as you think about helping your people manage their day and safeguard family time:

  • 81% of remote employees regularly respond to emails after work hours, including 63% on the weekend and 34% on vacation.
  • 76% of office employees periodically check email after work hours.
  • 10% of people check work emails “constantly” outside regular work hours.
  • 22% of people say that unplugging from work is their biggest struggle.
  • 17% of Americans check email their phones in-person conversations
Most people don't use any time management technique, and we can tell

Time management at work

64% of people struggle with having enough time and energy to do their work

People need more time and fewer distractions or energy drains to complete their work. Companies need to step up and help. The biggest reason for that is when someone on your team doesn’t feel like they have enough time in general, they’re 3.5x more likely to struggle with innovative and strategic thinking.

Don’t overload your top talent; they will struggle to maintain their rockstar status.

  • Some 60% of leaders are generally concerned about innovation, making this time management threat even more significant.
  • Employees are 3x happier and more productive when their jobs become more creative.
  • The average employee deals with 200 messages each day.

Time management skills and training can be a way to fight these issues.

One-third of workers can't handle all the interruptions they face each day

68% say they don’t have enough uninterrupted focus time during the workday.

A Microsoft study found that your average employee will spend 57% of their workday on communication, including meetings, email, and chats. The top email fans will spend 8.8 hours on email each week, while people with the most meetings see these take up 7.5 hours on any given week.

Other studies suggest that employees can spend up to 2 hours daily recovering from distractions. The time they spend recovering increases with their workload and makes it harder to get back to focused work

Most people feel stretched for time without enough hours to perform tasks. Email, chat, meetings, calls, and other distractions interrupt the focus time they need to do their actual work. 

As meetings and communications eat up more time, people say they have less energy and focus to spend on core tasks. 

The top drains on employee focus

  • Inefficient meetings
  • Lacking clear goals
  • Too many meetings
  • Feeling uninspired
  • Not quickly finding the information they need

Only 35% of people say colleagues would miss them if they didn’t join a meeting

Most people kind of hate their meetings. Unfortunately, they fear missing out on necessary information if they don’t attend. 

However, two-thirds of people don’t feel they contribute enough to their regular meetings to be missed if they don’t attend.

Other time management issues around meetings include:

  • 55% say meetings end with unclear next steps
  • 56% say it is difficult to summarize what happens during a meeting
  • Compared to 2020, people now have 3x more meetings each week

Leaders have a different unfortunate statistic when it comes to meetings. The typical business leader will have 37 meetings in an average week, accounting for 72% of their total work time.

This is one area where poor time management can impact the average person negatively when it comes to how they view their careers. It harms self-perception and work-life balance while creating stress that wastes free time.

The results are in, none of us can multitask and it hurts our performance.

People spend 200 work hours just switching between apps each year

Poor time management can significantly reduce your success just by creating extra work. Time management systems can be a valid response when they help people identify and stick with essential tasks.

The average employee spends 9% of their year changing between apps while trying to do work. That means interruptions to focus time, having to respond to an immediate Slack, or not having everything they need, so they head to Google to find more.

What’s surprising about this switching is that 76% of employees will spend about 10 hours out of their typical week moving data between programs.

Those interruptions and task-switching can lead to an estimated $588 billion in annual losses for U.S. companies. Small businesses lost roughly $2.5 million each during the typical year.

When it comes to switching, many do so to collaborate with their teams. Understanding how people collaborate on different apps could help your business. According to Buffer, modern collaboration breaks down like this:

  • 50% within messaging apps
  • 22% email
  • 19% meetings and virtual calls
  • 7% shared documents

The good news for collaboration is that most remote teams feel comfortable collaborating across time zones. Nearly 75% feel connected to their colleagues when they routinely engage in remote collaboration.

People try 13 different time management strategies on average

80% of interruptions are ‘worthless’

The estimated number of interruptions people experience varies across job types and activities. Generally, 80% of interruptions are seen as worthless or purely distracting. Interruptions come in all shapes and sizes, including 200 chat notifications and other messages per day.

A few things make this much worse at work:

  • People say 46% of their daily pressure is caused by too much workload
  • Poor communication can eat up to 280 work hours per year
  • Multitasking reduces employee effectiveness and productivity by 40%
  • 33% of employees say distractions and interruptions are why they can’t complete daily tasks
  • Employees and leaders who ruminate about work and interruptions are less effective the next day 

All these interruptions make it hard to manage time and stress effectively. Time tracking tools are part of the answer, but you’re at risk if you don’t help the average person on staff reduce interruptions and increase engagement.

reasons for quiet quitting

52% of people are burnt out right now

As you read this sentence, more than half of employees are experiencing burnout. In some areas like the U.S., that rises to more than 60% of people at work. The pandemic exacerbated this, and we’re not seeing a decline in burnout or stress rates yet.

Unfortunately, that makes work and time management more difficult. A few other vital stats to know about stress and burnout include:

  • While not always burnt out, nearly 70% of team members globally say they are not engaged at work. 
  • South Asia leads as the region with the highest employee engagement, but that’s only 33% of employees.
  • 40% of people say their workplace negatively impacts their mental health.
  • 25% of people will quit at least one job during their career due to mental health concerns.
  • Only 21% of employees feel productive at their jobs today
  • Less than 10% of employees in the U.K. say they’re “enthusiastic” about their job today
Just 17% of people track time regularly

Does time management work?

Time management stats and facts can only get us so far in isolation. A dedicated time management system can help, but it isn’t the end of the discussion. It’s good to review how these combine and how people put time management into practice. A time management research meta-analysis provides an excellent framework for this topic.

It’s core takeaway: Yes, time management practices work.

The review, covering nearly 54,000 people, notes that time management practices moderately improve job performance, sense of well-being, and academic achievements. These each affect how we feel about our lives.  

When people employ time management techniques, they lower their stress and exhaustion levels, improving their work-life balance. They’re also less bored at work, which leads to reductions in wasted time.

What’s perhaps most beneficial for companies and their employees is that time management practices have a more significant impact on improving a sense of well-being than it does on employee productivity or performance.

We all need help to protect valuable time.

Helping your people improve time management can improve all of their lives

Time management improvements are linked to all demographics and personality types. While some people may benefit more from time management, the review notes that people of all backgrounds can successfully implement these techniques and find value in them.

One additional study that reviewed multiple methods found that:

  • The Eisenhower matrix is the most successful time management technique. Up to 100% of people feel that this puts 4 or 5 work days per week under control.
  • The Pomodoro Technique comes in second at 50% of people.
  • To-do lists were seen as successful by 33% of people.
  • 24% of people revert to doing “whatever seems most important.”
Hubstaff focus time

How do companies start improving employee time management?

It’s easy to see how and where proper time management can have positive impacts. The effects of poor control are also apparent in our time management statistics.

So, you know the benefits and pain points, but where do you get started with time management at work?

Managers, leaders, and business owners are responsible for improving employee time management. They must set rules and realistic controls across the organization. Leaders also must follow these requirements and demonstrate them publicly.

People follow you when they see you lead.

Time management techniques can feel personal, so leaders need to give individuals multiple options. You can grab software like Hubstaff that makes tracking time and checking activity levels easy. A proper time management system simplifies your data. Then, you can let people try different techniques to see what works.  

Hubstaff can help you measure people’s time usage to create a baseline and then compare after changes in time management practices. We’ll be your reporting arm to simplify that process, so your team only has to focus on trying Pomodoro or Eisenhower.

Give people tools, techniques, and support for trying something new. 

Don’t expect an immediate boost that people sustain 100%. Change takes time, and finding a time management plan you can stick to in the long term can be complicated. 

Allowing people leeway and encouraging them to try is one of your best ways to build a culture that promotes better time management without creating frustration.

Sources for our statistics 

Here at Hubstaff, we love great reports and plenty of reliable data, so we use it to create posts like this. Our time management system provides many reports and productivity metrics to help managers and employees manage their time.  

To keep things easy to read without flooding your screen with hyperlinks and different-colored text, we’ve listed all of our sources below, grouped by some broad categories that may help you discover more based on your interests. Keep reading to learn more about good time management skills, options for time management tools, and impact on outside areas like academic performance.

Researchers, journals, and news reports

Companies and providers

Category: Time Management