What are the top 3 things that boost or block your productivity? Workforce development research reports the most common answers to this question include skills competency, manager & self confidence, wellness related lifestyle habits, and workplace distractions. 

Fig 1: Productivity blocks & boosts-most common responses

Business leaders everywhere are concerned that distractions could impact the productivity level of their workforce even more now that many employees are working from home. As a result, AI based productivity monitoring tools have been gaining prominence as the solution to the ‘productivity problem.’ But these tools have had limited success and produced a host of negative reactions from workers. 

Distractions and how they impact focus and ultimately productivity are a constant issue in the workplace. Research shows that on average, today’s worker is interrupted at work every 11 minutes. However, distractions are not the only inhibitor of productivity and in fact, are not even the largest one. To fully address the productivity problem and take the lead in their markets, business leaders must make a shift in thinking to drive more effective solution design. 

Fig 2: Drivers of productivity

There is no question that employee productivity is affected by workplace distractions and the personal wellness state of that employee. But the data clearly shows that productivity is much more impacted by their measure of skills competence. How employees assess their skill level and their beliefs about how their manager views their competence are directly linked to productivity and outcomes. “I am a lot more likely to procrastinate on a work task when I don’t believe I can produce an outcome I’d be proud of. I also delay if I feel that my manager has doubts about my abilities” said one contributor to our research on the topic.

Contributing over 2 times more towards predicting whether an employee would be productive than distractions and other variables, individual skills competency should be the lever business leaders shift their focus to if they want to meet targets and drive a productive workforce. 

Skills based learning initiatives are critical to business growth. Projections estimate that the skills needed by workers to do their current jobs as well as their future ones will almost double within the next 5 years. Rethink Education’s Matt Greenfield recently spoke on an Ed Tech Week panel about the central role of learning at work, stating that in the future he envisions that 50% of an employee’s time will be spent learning new ways to apply the advanced tech tools and processes that will quickly become the new normal of workflow and life. To meet this global challenge, business leaders need rapid skills development solutions designed to meet workers where they are and move them forward. 

It is clear that new tools and approaches are needed to support this level of continuous learning. At Ahura AI, we are approaching productivity, distractions, and focus from a different perspective. What if, instead of responding to workers with a punitive warning message, we employ the power of AI to help employees develop the intrinsic tools they need to remain in a focus state while they work and learn? Our approach is based upon the knowledge that every worker is a learner and that understanding how we learn is a transferable skill. When we support the people as learners while they build their skill set, it enhances all of their work going forward. 

Our AI technology combines cognitive science and behavioral psychology research best practices to provide each learner with their own personalized 1:1 AI assistant to improve engagement and learning outcomes. Our aim is for our AI assistant to remain a learning companion for our users for the entirety of their careers, guiding them to discover differentiable skills in their fields of interest, and building a continuous learning muscle necessary to maintain relevance, drive productivity and dominate emerging spaces.

Skills development is the most essential element for improved worker engagement, career advancement and ultimately business growth and success. The global economy demands that business leaders implement innovative AI powered approaches to support these urgent skills competency needs across every business sector. To learn more about the Ahura AI solution and take advantage of our 3-months promo, signup at www.ahura.ai until Nov 30.