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Indigestible Costs of Low Productivity


Indigestible Costs of Low Productivity

John Sturdivant shares the unfortunate costs of lost revenue due to the post-lunch slump.

You’ve probably joked about a post-lunch food coma, but it’s really not funny when you realize it might be costing your team $75k per year, or more if you’re a larger enterprise.

We looked at a sample of ~20k data points from maintenance professionals using WorkforceAlpha’s Performance Ticker. What we found isn’t surprising, but the true cost of it is!

One of the key drivers of productivity and value-added work is simply being in the right place – the assigned worksite. We call this “Time-on-Target”. Our data proves, in an indisputable and objective way, that there is a significant decline in the tendency of a workforce to ‘stay on target’ in the second half of a shift.

Not only did we see a pattern in Time-on-Target, but we saw the same thing happening in average activity level, another key driver of ‘getting working done’. If your maintenance professionals aren’t moving, then it’s really hard to add value to the business.

This decline is significant. After controlling for team meetings and lunch breaks, we found an 8.5% drop in Time-on-Target after the lunch break! Or in terms of actual time, about half an hour of additional time away from the worksite per person per shift.

Half an hour may not seem like a lot, but IT IS if this is a trend extending to every person, every day – as these findings suggest. Let’s assume your operation is experiencing this “afternoon fade” phenomenon. Let’s also assume your fully-loaded cost of labor is $50 per hour, and you manage a team of 12 front-line workers working 12 hour shifts. If you’re dropping 8.5% in time-on-target every afternoon, then your lost productive value is ~$25 per person per day; ~$6,300 per person per year; and ~$75,000 for the whole team in just one year! And this assumes you’re NOT losing additional availability and production from the resulting decreased wrench-time! Still feel like joking about the post-lunch food coma? 

So, what might be the root causes and remedies? We’ll offer a few thoughts, but the best way to find the answer is to discuss with your team.


Key points include:

  • Running out of work
  • Disruptions from unplanned/emergent work 
  • Extended afternoon breaks 


Read the full article, The afternoon phenomenon costing you $75k per year, on LinkedIn.