42.7% of financial sector’s time not spent on task according to new cross-industry study

New research from the iOpener Institute for People and Performance, which analyzed responses from over 30,000 professionals, reveals significant differences between personal productivity levels in different countries and industry sectors. The findings also show a clear relationship between Happiness at Work and personal productivity.

The Institute measured components of Happiness at Work including energy levels, time engaged and feelings of happiness. Productivity was measured as ‘time on task’; the time that workers are actively producing outputs that make a tangible contribution to their organization.

Jessica Pryce Jones
Jessica Pryce Jones

The international average for time on task is 58.8%, but there are significant differences between the various industry sectors. The study revealed the financial sector to be marginally below average with 57.3% time on task. At the bottom of the table is the Biotechnology sector with 53.2%.

Even greater differences are shown when comparing the different countries surveyed. Mexico is shown to have the highest productivity (73.2% of time on task), whilst Portugal has the lowest (43.3%).

Within both sets of data, the sectors and countries that show the highest levels of productivity also perform strongly in the measurements of Happiness at Work.

Jessica Pryce-Jones, founder director of the iOpener Institute and author of “Happiness at Work – Maximising Your Psychological Capital for Success”, notes, “Whilst broad correlations between Happiness at Work and productivity have been recognized for some time, this detailed method of analyzing the components of Happiness at Work offers organizations actionable insights to formulate practical plans to improve their productivity.”

“The sector and country results offer companies a contextual starting point; those in the financial sector can ascertain how they measure up when compared to their sector and country averages, and tailor their productivity initiatives accordingly. With the financial sector scoring below the cross-industry average, there is clear potential for improvement. This is particularly important as the sector faces calls to reverse its reputation for long-hours as a measure of employee performance.”[1]

The report may be downloaded by visiting this link.

[1] See for instance Financial News, ‘Workers hit back at long hours culture’,, 2 October 2013