What is the difference between productivity vs efficiency? Let’s look at an example.
You start your work day early in the morning, cleaning up your email inbox, replying to all emails, switching to your LinkedIn, operational tasks, some rapid things that popped up, and checking your accounts—overall, a long working day packed with meaningful assignments.
Was it productive? It surely was. Was it efficient? There might be options.
Efficiency is the ability to use resources effectively and produce output at a high rate. In other words, it’s about using fewer resources to get the same or better results.
Yet, in many cases, organizations sacrifice efficiency for productivity by focusing on getting things done quickly rather than doing them right.
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What is Productivity?
Productivity focuses on how much you can achieve in a given period. It also measures how much value you create as an individual or team.
You can calculate productivity as the ratio of outputs to inputs, such as the number of tasks completed per hour or the amount of work accomplished divided by the time spent working.
But how to define if you are productive and improve your productivity if you’re not? To change something, you need to know the current state. That’s why measuring productivity is essential.
How to Measure Productivity
Let’s say you send 64 emails per working day that lasts 8 hours. To measure your productivity, you can use the productivity formula: divide output (64 emails) by input (8 hours). It shows that your productivity score is eight emails per hour.
Depending on your goals, this formula can help you understand if the result is satisfactory. If not, you can change your workflow to improve the current situation. For the example above, you can use FlyMSG, our digital writing assistant, to store and use your best-performing emails and skyrocket the speed of your email communication!
You can also calculate productivity on the organizational or team level.
For example, your sales team contacts 240 prospects each day. That means their productivity score is 30 (240/8) reached prospects per hour. To show increased productivity, your sales team needs to get at least 300 new leads in the same time frame.
How does productivity influence the work process?
4 Helpful Productivity Stats
Let’s explore some stats to understand common productivity challenges.
- 86% of executives agree that ineffective communication causes productivity-related issues. (Clockify)
- Refocusing on a task after a distraction takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds. (Zippia)
- 85% of employees unproductively spend up to two hours searching for work-related information. (TeamStage)
- The average office worker is only productive for two hours and 23 minutes daily. (Apollo Technical)
So, now that you know what productivity is, how to measure your productivity rate and how it affects your results, let’s discuss when to focus on improving productivity.
When to Focus on Productivity
There are a few critical situations when it’s essential to focus on productivity:
- When you’re working on a tight deadline
- When you’re struggling to get started on a project
- When you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed by your workload
- When you need to get organized to complete more work
- When you’re trying to accomplish a lot in a short time
- When you need to get something done quickly
By remaining focused and productive during these times, you’ll be able to get the job done more effectively.
Now let’s discuss what efficiency is.
What is Efficiency?
Efficiency focuses on the quality of output, for example, the quality of emails or messages you send to your customers, clients, or partners.
Let’s get back to our example: you usually send 64 emails per 8 working hours. You can say that your productivity increased if you successfully wrote 80 emails in 8 hours. However, those emails can have poor brand consistency and tonal uniformity, as you got more work to complete in the same time frame.
If you successfully send 80 emails during 8 working hours with the highest quality output, you have improved efficiency in the same time frame.
Let’s see what stats show us about efficiency.
3 Interesting Efficiency Stats
Let’s explore some interesting stats to help you understand the importance of efficiency.
- Up to 30% of revenue is lost yearly due to inefficiency. (Entrepreneur)
- Ineffective company communication stresses out 80% of US employees. (Stress)
- The average worker is productive for 60% or less each day in all career fields. For office workers, however, that percentage drops drastically. (Apollo Technical)
Let’s see how to calculate efficiency.
How to Measure Efficiency
Measuring efficiency occurs when you divide the expected work hours by actual hours worked on a task and then multiply by 100%. Let’s say you finish writing 64 emails in 6 hours instead of the expected 8 hours.
8/6 x 100% = 1,33 x 100% = 133% efficiency
A higher than 100% ratio indicates you need less time (fewer resources) than expected to finish the job.
If you are expected to do the work in 6 hours and do it in 8, your efficiency will be 75%, which means you need more time than expected. Calculating efficiency is crucial as it helps you see if you optimally utilize all available resources to get the job done.
Let’s discuss what you can do to improve your results.
When to Focus on Efficiency
If you are not optimally using resources such as time, raw materials, budget, staff, or similar, you should make changes to have overall operational efficiency and to keep things running smoothly.
While there are many ways to increase efficiency, some of the most effective include:
- Implementing lean principles into your organizational culture
- Identifying waste in your processes and systems
- Hiring and training employees
- Automating repetitive tasks
- Reducing unnecessary meetings
When it comes to improving efficiency, you should always keep a few key things in mind: start small, be consistent, and measure success.
Productivity vs Efficiency: How They Relate
Contrary to popular belief, productivity and efficiency are not the same. Productivity measures how much output you produce in an hour or day, while efficiency measures how much value you create in that period.
For example, let’s say you’re a salesperson. You might send 100 sales emails in a day, but if none of those emails result in a sale, you’ve been productive but inefficient. On the other hand, you might send ten sales emails in a day and close five deals, meaning you’re efficient.
The key to success is finding the right balance between productivity and efficiency. You need to be productive enough to get the work done, but you also need to be efficient enough to create value for your company.
Productivity vs Efficiency: Which Matters More
In a business, both productivity and efficiency are significant. A business must be productive to make money and efficiently use resources to keep costs low.
So, which matters more? The answer is that they both matter equally. They are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other.
A business must be both productive and efficient to be successful. If a business is only productive, it will not increase its profit. If a company is only efficient, it will not be able to sustain itself in the long run.
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Productivity vs Efficiency: Why You Need Both
Productivity and efficiency are both important, and balancing them is essential. If you’re highly productive but inefficient, you’ll be able to produce more output in a shorter time, but that doesn’t mean that your work will be good quality.
If you’re highly efficient but not productive, you’ll be able to produce high-quality work quickly, but it won’t take long before your backlog of unfinished tasks catches up with you.
The key is to figure out how to improve productivity while maintaining efficiency. It could involve automating repetitive tasks to focus on high-value activities and get through assignments faster without sacrificing quality.
Productivity vs Efficiency: 5 Key Differences
It is complex to grasp the key differences between these two terms. Let’s tackle the five main differences between productivity and efficiency and why it matters for your company.
1. Productivity is Goal-Oriented. Efficiency is Process-Oriented.
The goal of productivity is to achieve a specific outcome. To be productive, you must have a plan and work towards executing that plan. Efficiency, on the other hand, is focused on the process. Being efficient means finding the best way to complete a task and get the most out of your efforts.
2. Productivity is a Long-Term Goal. Efficiency is a Short-Term Goal.
Productivity planning is about working towards a long-term goal. It is about taking the time to do things right, so you don’t have to waste time later fixing mistakes. Efficiency is about working towards a short-term goal. It is about getting things done quickly to move on to the next task.
3. Productivity is About Quantity. Efficiency is About Quality.
Productivity is about quantity. It’s about how much you can get done in a day, an hour, or a week. It’s about output.
Efficiency, on the other hand, is about quality. It’s about doing things the right way the first time around. It’s about minimizing waste and maximizing results.
You can be productive without being efficient, but you can’t be efficient without being productive. Productivity is the engine that drives efficiency.
4. Productivity is Working Harder. Efficiency is Working Smarter.
Being productive means putting in the hours and getting the job done, no matter what. Efficiency, on the other hand, is about working smarter. It’s about doing things effectively, whether taking shortcuts or finding creative solutions.
So, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, take a step back and ask yourself: am I being productive or efficient? If you can’t answer that question, it’s time to reevaluate your priorities.
5. Productivity Automates Processes. Efficiency Streamlines Processes.
Automation is a crucial driver of productivity. Automation enables you to complete tasks faster, delivering higher output levels in a shorter time frame. It helps you increase efficiency and reduce costs.
By automating processes, you can reduce the time to perform the same amount of tasks. You can focus on other aspects of your job by doing less repetitive work. You can also focus on more strategic activities like sales and marketing.
For optimal results, you can use business productivity tools that help you complete more work in less time. One such solution is FlyMSG, our text expander, which enables you to increase productivity and efficiency and save 20 hours per month. Let’s explain how it works.
How FlyMSG Boosts Both Productivity and Efficiency
FlyMSG is an award-winning speed writing tool and auto text expander developed by Vengreso.
It is the first choice of busy professionals who communicate with customers, clients, partners, or employees throughout the day and lose valuable time on written communication.
It helps business owners, HR professionals, sales representatives, recruiters, customer service, and support representatives become more productive and efficient during their workday by helping them type less, do more, and save one hour daily to allocate to other assignments.
Thanks to automation, FlyMSG allows you to generate high-quality content quickly and efficiently. You can write more emails and messages quickly and ensure they are consistent and error-free due to the integration with Grammarly.
It further improves the quality of your output, helps you focus on more significant assignments, and reduce repetitive tasks that spend your time and energy throughout the day.
FlyMSG Lets You Store Your Content in the Cloud
Instead of losing time searching your inbox, Google Docs, or Word files and copying and pasting your sent messages, you can safely store them in the cloud, access the cloud anywhere and anytime, and use your best-performing content whenever you need it with just a few shortcodes.
FlyMSG Helps You Type Less and Do More
FlyMSG consists of FlyCuts and FlyPlates that help you streamline personal productivity, communicate more effectively and increase engagement with clients, customers, partners, or employees while maintaining brand consistency and tonal uniformity. Let’s discuss each.
What are FlyCuts?
FlyMSG works as a text expander. It allows you to save frequently-used messages under shortcodes or FlyCuts and store them in a cloud.
When writing online, you can type in these shortcodes and watch how they automatically expand into full-text strings. Thanks to the integration with Grammarly, FlyMSG improves various aspects of the writing process, such as grammar, style, and spelling.
You have a rich text editor at your disposal, so you can craft, format, and edit your messages in any way you like and include photos, videos, emojis, GIFs, or links to make your messages more attractive.
What are FlyPlates?
FlyPlates are premium content templates created by industry professionals for any use case you can think of. Our rich template library currently includes over 200 templates you can choose, adjust according to your needs and use in your emails or messages in seconds.
FlyPlates help you stay organized and focused and make it easier to reuse or repurpose content in the future. It means you don’t have to recreate the same content repeatedly, saving you much time in the long run.
They also help ensure that your content meets your company’s required standards or guidelines.
FlyMSG Has Numerous Use Cases for Any Professional
Whether you work in HR, marketing, finance, recruiting, sales, or customer service, you will find suitable FlyPlates in our library. You can evaluate all these templates by creating your free account. Let’s share some examples.
Cannot Attend a Meeting for All Professionals
Requesting Customer Feedback for Customer Service Reps
Placing an Order for the Finance Department
Offer Letter for HR Professionals
Ghostwriter Agreement for Marketers
Candidate Rejection Template for Recruiters
Prospecting Messages for Sales Professionals
As you can see, finding a template that will suit your needs and save time is easy.
FlyMSG Is Available Anywhere Online
As you can store your content in the cloud, it will be available in every situation. FlyMSG integrates with all popular third-party apps such as Gmail, Slack, Google Docs, Salesforce, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and LinkedIn recruiter. All you need to do is type your shortcode in your email or message, and your pre-written content will automatically appear.
FlyMSG Has a Simple Signup Process
Afterward, choose which plan you want to use. All plans, including the free one, come with FlyCuts.
There are two FlyMSG premium plans:
- Starter costs $3.97/mo and includes up to 50 FlyPlates.
- Growth costs $9.97/mo and includes unlimited FlyPlates.
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Productivity Vs Efficiency: the Bottom Line
In this article, we discussed the differences between productivity and efficiency and their interdependence. We explained that productivity refers to the number of outputs, while efficiency refers to the quality of those outputs.
We introduced FlyMSG as a speed writing tool that can increase your productivity and boost efficiency. It is a writing assistant already used by professionals in companies such as Paypal, Netflix, Uber, Geico, and more. It helps you find, copy, paste, reuse and manage written content with just a few strokes!
Start saving time now and sign up for FlyMSG!