There is a day of the week and time when you are most productive (if you have this office setup)

When does your productivity peak? Is it Wednesday afternoon, with your earbuds crankin’ with your favorite podcast, as you get in the zone, hustling to get that project out?

New research on worker productivity from staffing firm Accountemps found that overall, worker productivity peaks Monday mornings, working from an open office.

Monday is the most productive day of the week (29%), followed by Tuesday (27%) and Wednesday (20%). As you can see from the chart, it’s all downhill from there. As you can see from the productivity on Friday, it’s practically another argument for the four-day week.

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Despite being bleary-eyed, it turns out that three in four workers are the most productive before lunch. Almost half of workers (44%) are the most productive in the early morning, followed by the late morning (31%). Productivity takes a nosedive from there, however. Only 2% of workers are able to get anything done during lunch, and only 20% of employees are useful during the combined hours of the early and late afternoon. No one does well working late hours, as you can see from the chart.


Workspace preferences vary for optimal productivity: some employees can’t stand open offices, but a good number prefer them. The top preferred workspace in terms of productivity might come as a surprise:

  • Open office with coworkers: 38% (This was the top response among 18 to 34-year-olds).
  • Private office with door closed: 36% (This is the most popular option for those 55 and over).
  • Working from home: 18%
  • Working from an offsite location: 9%

And then come the distractions, the biggest being:

  • Chatty or social coworkers: 32%
  • General office noise: 22%
  • Unnecessary conference calls and meetings: 20%
  • My cell phone – using it for calls, texting, social media: 15%
  • Unnecessary emails: 11%

Michael Steinitz, senior executive director of Accountemps, says that employers can help their teams minimize distraction when it comes to productivity. “If you can provide access to their preferred workspaces or bring in temporary professionals to help staff reach peak productivity, do it. What matters most for the bottom line is the work employees get done — not where and when.”