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"Productivity Drain" Survey Finds That Many Employees Feel Productivity was a Casualty of the Recession

CHELMSFORD, Mass., Aug. 26, 2009 — A new survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute™ at Kronos® Incorporated and conducted by Harris Interactive reveals that 40 percent of respondents whose workplaces experienced layoffs in the past year feel that the overall productivity of their organization has been negatively impacted. The "Productivity Drain" survey examines what this means for employees and what they think their employers should be doing to be positioned for success as the economy rebounds.

News Facts

  • 38 percent of respondents employed full or part-time said there had been layoffs in the past year at their primary place of employment.
  • Of those respondents who said that productivity had been negatively impacted by layoffs:
    • 66 percent said that morale has suffered and people are less motivated;
    • 64 percent said that there is too much work and not enough people to do it;
    • 37 percent said the wrong people or departments were laid off, leaving inefficient systems and workflows; and
    • 36 percent said they are concerned that as the economy picks up, they won't have the right resources to meet demand.
  • Despite feeling overworked, a surprising majority — 53 percent — of respondents said they felt the right number of people were laid off at their organization. Thirty-two percent said they felt too many were laid off and seven percent said not enough were laid off.
  • Employees also have some advice for employers on how to improve productivity in their workplace:
    • 50 percent said employers should look for ways to improve morale;
    • 46 percent said their employers have processes that should be automated to be more efficient;
    • 36 percent said their organizations should invest in new technology to help manage productivity — interestingly enough, more men (42 percent) than women (30 percent) believe this would help; and
    • 36 percent of employees believe that organizations need to take a fresh look at how to redistribute the workload among those employees who are left.

Supporting Quotes

  • Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute, Kronos
    "In the midst of a downturn like the one we are experiencing, the time is right for employers to re-examine existing practices: from how work is distributed among the organization; to whether or not new hires need to be made; to what kinds of technology might enable the workforce to become more productive. In this survey, we hear loud and clear from employees that these issues need to be addressed now, so that businesses are positioned for success when the economy kicks back into high gear."
  • Andy Brantley, president and chief executive officer of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
    "No one would argue that the last several months have been incredibly difficult for most organizations. Employees who 'survive' layoffs are left with more work and fewer resources. Employers should look for ways to keep employees focused on contributing to the success of the organization while providing them with rewards and recognition for the exceptional work being done under difficult circumstances."

Supporting Resources

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted via telephone within the U.S. by Harris Interactive® on behalf of The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated between August 13 and August 16, 2009 among a nationwide sample of 2,005 U.S. adults aged 18 and over among whom 956 were employed full-time or part-time. Data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of age, sex, geographic region, and race.

About The Workforce Institute

The Workforce Institute was founded by Kronos Incorporated in 2006 as a think tank to provide research and education on critical workplace issues facing organizations around the globe. By bringing together thought leaders, The Workforce Institute is uniquely positioned to empower organizations with the knowledge and information they need to manage their workforce effectively and provide a voice for employees on important workplace issues. A hallmark of The Workforce Institute's research is balancing the needs and desires of diverse employee populations with the needs of organizations. For additional information, visit

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is the global leader in workforce management solutions that enable organizations to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Tens of thousands of organizations in 60 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000® — use Kronos time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics applications. To learn how Kronos uniquely delivers complete automation and high-quality information in an easy-to-use solution, visit

© 2009 Kronos Incorporated. Kronos is a registered trademark and The Workforce Institute is a trademark of Kronos Incorporated or a related company. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.