State of Work


Business has never been more complex.

Every industry is undergoing rapid transformation with customer expectations changing daily. People and teams are under constant pressure to work faster and more efficiently.

From a front row seat, we’ve observed four fundamental attributes shared by teams and corporations that consistently outpace their rivals, year after year.
Our methodology

3,750 office workers

Between July 8, 2019 to July 12, 2019

Germany, Netherlands, U.K. and U.S.

500 or more employees, who work on a computer, and collaborate with other people.

State of Work: 2020

These four attributes focus on helping people—each individual—get their best work done so companies can thrive. In order to further understand how companies can improve their
performance, we regularly study the state of work through the lens of knowledge workers. Here are some of the things we learned about what helps and what hinders both employee and organizational success.
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Employees are engaged.

89 %

of our respondents believe
their role matters.

91 %

are proud of the work they do.

78 %

say their job represents
more than a paycheck.

Employees want to achieve strategic impact.

65 %

wish they were rewarded more on results
as opposed to just deliverables.

Work is getting in the way

Despite countless initiatives, companies have gained almost no ground in helping workers focus on their most important work.

43 %

Only 43% of knowledge workers’ time is
spent on the job they were hired to do.

Digital tools are interfering with productivity.

13 .9

13.9 times per day our respondents
are interrupted by digital tools.

Company decisions aren’t always based on data.

46 %

Only 46% believe business decisions are made based on data.

People expect consumer ease and simplicity at work.

94 %

94% saying searching at work should
match the ease of Googling.

Workers think companies can and should do better with technology.

87 %

87% of respondents think leaders should reconsider the way they think about technology.

84 %

84% say businesses today are missing opportunities by not moving to more modern solutions.

91 %

91% of workers say that they crave modern technology solutions.

Most workers wish they had one centralized place to see all work across the company.

71 %

In fact, 71% would like to have that single destination to understand and manage work.

69% indicated they don’t have that type of solution in place.

The workforce understands that work management is vitally important.

67 %

67% of respondents told us a leadership role like a “Chief Work Officer” would be important to them.

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Why the State of Work Matters.

It’s time to treat work with the same level of process and technology sophistication as we do all other major business functions, as a tier one asset.

The results of this research are intended to help you understand how people get things done, how they collaborate in large organizations, and how technology is changing the way work happens.
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Related resources

State of Work 2019

Every year we survey thousands of enterprise workers with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of how their work is changing. We look at the roles technology, changes in demographics, and emerging trends play in the state of the modern workplace. Click below to see the results of our most recent survey.

State of Work 2018

This report finds knowledge workers continuing to be thwarted by tools and practices that are intended to facilitate productivity and collaboration. Again this year, wasteful meetings and excessive emails top the list of productivity killers, forcing workers to spend less than half of their time on the work they were actually hired to do.

State of Work 2017

In this report, you'll find that while the vast majority of workers express an optimistic view of their work life, troubling trends in the number of hours spent at work and the prevalence of inter-team conflict have arisen—both of which threaten to undermine enterprises’ efforts to be more productive and, ultimately, more competitive.

State of Work 2016

In this report, you'll find those office workers consider themselves productive, but they also work regularly beyond standard business hours. You’ll also find snapshots of their perceptions of each other and the things that keep them from being more productive.

State of Work 2015

In this study, you will find that enterprise workers report a good deal of ambivalence. On one hand, they express optimism about their work and work relationships. On the other hand, they report strong frustration with shortcomings in processes and communication.

Are you ready to make a strategic shift to work management?

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