Industrial engineering

What is Productivity? |purpose of improving productivity | 7 Factors affecting productivity, pdf

Ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? You’re not alone. In our fast-paced world, the pressure to be productive is omnipresent. But what exactly is productivity, and how can we achieve it without sacrificing our well-being? This article dives deep into the concept of productivity, exploring its core principles and debunking common myths. We’ll unveil practical strategies to maximize your output while fostering a healthy work-life balance. So, buckle up and get ready to unlock the secrets of getting more done, feeling fulfilled, and achieving your goals!

What is Productivity?

Productivity is the measure of how efficiently you produce output from a certain amount of input. In simpler terms, it’s getting the most out of what you put in, whether that’s time, effort, resources, or materials.

Purpose of improving productivity:

There are numerous compelling reasons to sharpen your productivity skills, both on a personal and professional level. Here’s a breakdown of the key purposes:

Individual Benefits:

  • Accomplish More, Feel Better: By streamlining your workflow, you can conquer more tasks in less time. This frees up space for personal pursuits, reduces stress, and fosters a sense of accomplishment.
  • Enhanced Well-being: Improved productivity often leads to a better work-life balance. You can complete your tasks efficiently, allowing for more time for relaxation, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones.
  • Reduced Stress and Burnout: When you feel overwhelmed by an unending workload, stress and burnout become real threats. Effective productivity techniques can help you prioritize tasks, manage time effectively, and avoid feeling under constant pressure.

Professional Benefits:

  • Increased Output and Growth: Businesses thrive on productivity. When employees work efficiently, they contribute to a higher overall output. This translates to increased sales, improved services, and the potential for growth and expansion.
  • Competitive Advantage: In today’s competitive landscape, companies that prioritize productivity can gain a significant edge. They can deliver projects faster, adapt to changing market demands more readily, and ultimately, outperform competitors.
  • Improved Employee Morale: When employees feel empowered to achieve their goals through effective productivity strategies, morale often rises. They feel valued, engaged, and motivated to contribute their best work.

Overall, improving productivity is a win-win situation. It empowers individuals to achieve more and feel fulfilled, while simultaneously bolstering the success and well-being of business.

How to calculate productivity? Productivity Formula

Knowing how to calculate productivity allows you to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately achieve your goals. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula, as the most effective approach depends on the context (individual vs. business) and what you’re trying to measure. Here are two common methods:

The Basic Productivity Formula:

This formula is a general guideline applicable to various scenarios. It follows the principle of output divided by input:

Productivity = Total Output / Total Input

  • Output: This represents the results you achieve. It could be the number of tasks completed, units produced, sales generated, or any quantifiable measure of your work.
  • Input: This signifies the resources invested to achieve the output. It could be time spent working, materials used, labor hours, or any factor contributing to the final outcome.

In single factor approach to measure productivity, we measure productivity of capital, materials, direct labor, overhead separately.

  • For Capital- productivity is the number of products produced Divided by asset value.
  • For Materials – Number of products produced Divided by dollars spent on materials.
  • Direct Labor – Number of products produced Divided by direct labour-hours.
  • Overhead – Number of products produced Divided by dollars spent on overhead.

In All-factor measurement approach, we calculates the ratio of total output to total number of total inputs.

What is Productivity? |purpose of improving productivity | 7 Factors affecting productivity, pdf
Productivity measurement formula

Productivity Example

Here are two examples of productivity, one focusing on individual productivity and the other on business productivity:

1. Individual Productivity:

Imagine Sarah, a freelance graphic designer. She typically struggles to manage her workload and often works late into the night. To improve her productivity, she implements a time management system, prioritizes tasks, and sets clear deadlines. As a result, she’s able to:

  • Output: Design 4 high-quality logos in a single workday.
  • Input: Previously, it would take her 2 days to complete a single logo due to distractions and procrastination.

By streamlining her workflow, Sarah accomplishes more in less time, freeing up space for personal activities and reducing stress.

2. Business Productivity:

A manufacturing plant struggles to meet production quotas due to inefficiencies in the assembly line. They implement productivity improvement strategies such as:

  • Optimizing workflow: Restructuring the assembly line to minimize wasted movement and improve production flow.
  • Investing in automation: Utilizing robots for repetitive tasks to free up human workers for more complex jobs.
  • Employee training: Providing training to enhance worker skills and ensure they’re operating equipment efficiently.

These measures lead to:

  • Output: A 20% increase in the number of units produced per day.
  • Input: Maintaining the same number of employees and work hours.

By enhancing their productivity, the plant fulfills customer demands more efficiently, potentially reduces costs, and gains a competitive edge.

Factors Affecting productivity:

1.Human Resources:

What is Productivity? |purpose of improving productivity | 7 Factors affecting productivity, pdf

Selection of the right man for a specific work is very important, it impacts a lot on the productivity of any organization. Every company should have an effective training programme so that new employees can learn about their job role properly. The general level of education is important for workers. To operate a computer and other electronic equipment, educated employees are needed. Employees need to be motivated to be productive. 

They need to have good, and safe working condition to perform better, only pay is not enough. The government can help by sponsoring more education, skill training, etc.  

2. Product Design:

 Through better product design, the unnecessary parts can be eliminated, by this way uses of material can be reduced, with that cost of labour, equipment, etc are also reduced. This will allow lowering the price of the product and make it more affordable for the customers. The design of the parts should be simple so that manufacturing can be completed in a shorter time and less worker.

product design

The role of research and development is vital for effective product design.  Standardization of product and the uses of group technology and other design factors that make it possible to improve productivity.  

3. Technology and Capital Investment:

One of the major factors in continuing productivity improvement is the technology and capital investment. Adoption of new and better technologies make the process easier and faster than old, conventional methods. New technology depends on the Research and development department. To apply new technology, investment in the latest machinery and equipment is very important.


  The government should promote Research and Development Industries, encourage personal savings, and reduce taxes on profits so people can invest in facilities. Directly encourage new investment through a change in investment tax credits.    

4. Machinery and Equipment:

The proper layout of the plant and machinery is very important to increase productivity, it reduces the material handling cost, reduce the rest time thus improve productivity. 

Cnc machine

 The equipment used, machines, conveyors, robots, all are important factor in productivity.   Computer-aided design(CAD) and CNC have become an essential ingredient in productivity improvement. It helps to make complicated parts very easily.     

5. Skill and Effectiveness of the Worker:

 A trained worker can do the same job in a much shorter time, so every company should have a proper training program for new workers. Experienced workers also need to be trained, whenever new machines and equipment arrive.

Every employee should work in their specialized department, where they can work effectively. However, even well-trained employees must be motivated to be productive.   

6. Production Volume:

If the volume of output to be increased, the number of direct workers and few indirect workers need to be increased. But there would probably not be needed for more number of engineers, research scientists, headquarters staff people.  So the increase in production volume increases productivity.  

7. Government Regulation:

The government can eliminate unneeded regulations and make a cost-benefit analysis to determine necessary regulation such as health and safety. More rules and regulations make the process complicated, its effects on productivity.      

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In conclusion, productivity is a powerful tool that empowers us to achieve more and live a more fulfilling life. It’s not just about cramming in endless hours or sacrificing well-being. It’s about working smarter, not harder, by optimizing our workflows, managing time effectively, and prioritizing tasks that matter. By understanding the core principles of productivity, the factors that influence it, and the various ways to measure it, we can unlock our full potential and achieve a sense of accomplishment in all aspects of life. Remember, a productive life is not just about relentless work; it’s about achieving balance, setting goals, and feeling fulfilled by what you create. So, take charge, embrace effective strategies, and embark on your own journey to becoming a master of productivity!

Sukanta Maiti

I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession, Blogger, and Youtuber by passion. I have been in the engineering field since 2014. I am passionate about sharing all my knowledge about engineering, management, and economics to my readers.

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