• Business Tips

How to Create a Productivity Calculator

  • Veselin Mladenov
  • 7 min read
How to Create a Productivity Calculator


The productivity calculator evaluates the efficiency of the working process like no other tool. Comparing your results to various indicators benefits your personal growth or business. Let’s determine what happens if you don’t use the productivity calculator.

The problem of non-measuring productivity

Non-measuring productivity with the productivity calculator leads to losing time, money, resources, priorities, etc. If you don’t use the productivity calculator, you will probably need more resources to reach your goal. Curious why? You don’t know where to move when your result is hidden, just like a blind person.

The productivity calculator lets you predict every step to the final goal. Remember: your productivity is perfect if only it leads you to success.

The classical model of productivity and its flaws (pain)

Productivity = Output / Input

Productivity has always been measured according to a simple formula described above. Thus, in the traditional meaning, by improving productivity, scientists meant to increase the output keeping the input at the same level. It seems to be logical, isn’t it? Let’s figure out what is wrong with this formula, then.

1. Quality vs. Quantity

Considering the classical productivity model, we should be talking more about quantity. Stop and think! Are you sure about the strategy of increasing only the amount while being regardless of the quality?

Some employees strive to enhance their productivity to earn more. If a company is productivity-oriented, it aims to sell more regardless of the quality. Even though this strategy will work in a short-term case, unfortunately, it has no future.

When it comes to intellectual activity, they belong to the most challenging cases of measuring productivity. How can we evaluate the output if a person needs to think out an idea for days producing nothing for an extended period?

Intellectual jobs are about quality. One person may invent only one brilliant solution in ten years, which can outlast all the previous models. How do you estimate the value of this excellent idea which suddenly came to someone’s mind? The most complicated question is to evaluate the value of previous experience and innate personal qualities, which lead to this idea.

Programming is such a profession that it can’t evaluate productivity by the quantity of the code. The system's quality and the tasks' complexity are much more critical.

“If I had more time, I would have written a short article.”

Writers use this phrase as a motto. It makes sense, as long writing is bad writing, which wastes your readers' time. It doesn't make sense if you have to endeavor to understand long sentences. Brief and precise paragraphs require more time.

You see that problem-solving spheres have problems with measuring productivity. That is why the classical productivity formula is irrelevant in this case.

2. Specifying the task

Taylor’s theory of productivity was outstanding in 1911 when he shared it with the world. However, the time has passed, changing “the industrial economy” to “the knowledge economy.” Although Taylor’s productivity formula has been used for over 100 years, it can’t be applied to every activity now.

For instance, a person who wraps 1000 cups daily in the factory is way more productive than another who can complete only 100 pieces daily.

Also, the task is evident. The person knows that the job is only about wrapping the cups - the more, the better. The quality of wrapping is less outstanding than the quantity in the case of most manufacturing jobs.

If you ask a project manager of a digital marketer about his/her task, this person can tell you a long list of the functions. These professions imply multiple tasks, such as communication, thinking about ideas, controlling others, writing, etc.

How to evaluate a designer’s productivity who couldn’t invent any good logo in a month of his full-time work but managed to draw his brilliant idea in an hour? What if a programmer solved a problem in a minute thanks to his 10-year working experience? How to estimate a manager’s multiple works? These questions are bound to be discussed as they change the whole idea of the productivity formula.

In the age of knowledge, we can’t estimate a person’s productivity by the tasks only. We need to pay much attention to the final results and their value.

3. Human nature matters

Some managers still use outdated methods of motivation, such as Maslow’s Theory, but they don’t work as they should in the 20th century. Successful employers are way more interested in modern ways of employee motivation. The eternal conflicts between businessmen and workers are not of current interest anymore.

Human nature matters

On the contrary, business owners pay particular attention to motivation nowadays. Finally, they understood - that productivity depends on motivation, and non-material encouraging works efficiently.

Relations inside the company, the satisfaction of the work done, and exceptional comfort at the workplace are usually even more important than the salary for employees.

Most prospective companies nowadays are built on precise requirements and trust. Employers treated with respect and gratitude show better results than those only motivated by money. According to David K. Williams, every employee understands his/her role in the company; it leads to positive relations and success overall.

As you can see, companies can’t measure productivity the same way it was a century before. In the age of knowledge, we need to focus on the benefits that this employee gives to the company. Also, his personality and motivation are crucial to his goals.

How measuring productivity affects your outcome

According to hundreds of studies, measuring productivity positively affects the outcome. When people are aware of their productivity level, they unconsciously want to increase it or at least not worsen it. We must be proud of ourselves - it is all about our human nature.

Measuring productivity ensures responsibility. Responsibility leads to improving results. Just try to measure your productivity, and you will be amazed by both your personal and company results.

Set your intermediate goals to correct your working process immediately. It helps to build new plans and milestones, showing you direction for the future.

Thanks to the measuring process, you can analyze the whole business process and its parts. Consider both the quantity and the quality for achieving your goals in the complex.

Measuring the productivity of different periods is exceptionally efficient. Learn separately what you can do in a day, in a week, in a month, in a year. Also, pay attention to time. It will help you to come to the conclusion of which factors influenced your results the most.

The new model of productivity (develop idea)

As the productivity indicator solely measures quantity, efficiency is no less important for manufacturers. Efficiency indicates the quality of the working process.

There are two strategies of manufacturing depending on your priority - the quality or the quantity. When you produce plenty of low-quality products, your clients may not return back to you. However, you can run a successful business based on cheap products.

The new model of productivity (develop idea)

Just think: profit is better to evaluate productivity than the number of units. Increase your profit by making fewer quality units and selling them expensively. Calculate the efficiency and make your decision.

When it comes to the new productivity model, you can consider it on different levels - employee, organization, and even software. Let’s learn what each level is about and how to improve them.

Employee Productivity

Employee productivity shows what one employee can complete under certain circumstances. You can increasingly improve employee productivity by following three basic steps:

  • always provide constructive feedback and communicate with your employees efficiently, discussing how they can increase their productivity;
  • set reasonable company goals and explain them to every employee in order to build trustworthy relations inside the company;
  • provide quality equipment for the employees - otherwise, they won’t be able to show high results.

Team Productivity

Team productivity depends on employee productivity, as it is connected to a general goal. At the same time, you should distinguish these types of productivity to increase them efficiently. Keep in mind these three ways to make your team work productively.

  • cultivate the team culture as the central aspect of intangible motivation;
  • encourage the flexible schedule and other ways to make the working conditions better;
  • create conditions for growing leaders who can support the company's productivity at all levels.

Software Productivity

Software productivity implies an efficient way of using the current software. The more knowledge your team has, the more productive it operates.

  • encourage your team to use the same application for planning and achieving goals, such as Basecamp, Asana, TimeDoctor, etc.;
  • provide free training to improve the primary specialization and general competence on the topics such as time management, communication, conflict solving, etc.;
  • connect with your employees on cloud services to make your working process convenient. Also, use Google App, Dropbox, Evernote together with people you create the same project together.
  • enhance your financial processes with advanced tools and techniques to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve your overall financial performance. Invoicing software from Billdu is a great solution that can help you streamline your business.

How To Create A Productivity Calculator In The Knowledge Economy

Now you know many reasons to create a productivity calculator of a new format, and we are ready to present it. There are a few new ways to measure productivity.

1. Productivity by working hours

Productivity by working hours

The new model of productivity takes working hours into account. You need to compare the number of hours you plan to spend on the task (or just an average) with the actual working hours. Let’s make a new formula for productivity:

Productivity (%) = Planned hours / Actual hours * 100

For example, you were expected to write an article in 2 hours but spent 4 hours on it. Then your productivity: 2/4*100 = 50%.

If your productivity is more than 100%, congratulations - you worked so hard.

2. Idle time ratio

You may need the idle time ratio to estimate the percentage of hours spent for nothing.

Idle time ratio = Downtime / Labor hours in total * 100

If you spent 40 hours per task, but downtime is 5, then you can calculate the idle time ratio by the formula: 5/40*100 = 12/5%.

3. Labor capacity

This indicator shows the ratio between your actual working hours and the hours you were paid for your work. Let’s come up with a formula:

Labor capacity = Working hours in total / Budgeted hours * 100

It means you worked 6 hours, but you were paid for 3 hours only. Then your labor capacity is 6/3*100 = 200%.

As you can see, the new model of productivity is multifaceted. You should focus on all aspects of evaluating your production process from different sides to achieve your goals.

However, remember that a high quantity is only sometimes reasonable, as your clients want to buy high-quality products. Worsening the quality, you may lose your clients shortly.


The productivity calculator helps to improve your personal efficiency and working process in your company. Researching the history, we can find out that Taylor’s productivity formula is not in demand anymore. Even though many manufacturers still use outdated formula, it has to be changed.

Taylor’s formula can correctly show productivity in the case of manual labor only. Evaluating more complex work in the knowledge economy, we have to consider much more aspects than it was in the XX century.

Now we have a new model of productivity, which is based on quality instead of quantity. Therefore we have to amend the process of measuring productivity.

The new-made productivity calculator can evaluate the labor process from different sides. It includes estimation options, calculation as it is, and analyzing the actual working process. Based on the calculation, you will be able to expect a certain level of productivity in the future and create the conditions for improving efficiency.

Think beyond the limits to improve your productivity!

Veselin Mladenov

Veselin Mladenov

is the Content Manager of ThriveMyWay. He has more than 10 years of experience in the field of corporate marketing and sales, and decided to pursue his passion - digital marketing and content creation.

Link: ThriveMyWay

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