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Over one third of working Americans more uninspired than ever: study

More than a third of Americans have never felt more uninspired at work than they do now (38%), according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 employed Americans found that this lull is translating to their productivity, too, as 38% of respondents are only feeling “somewhat” productive at work.

Four in 10 suburban survey-takers are also experiencing this productivity slump (41%).

Results showed that their work setting plays a role in their productivity and found many are looking to refresh their work routines with breaks and jump-start productivity with community and exercise.

Sixty-two percent said that the people and community around their workspace have a positive effect on their productivity.

Conducted by Talker Research for Life Time Work, the coworking company for Life Time, the survey found that 37% of those who have a work routine consider it to be stale, especially those who work fully in person (39%).

According to respondents, surroundings matter. Sixty-two percent said that the people and community around their workspace have a positive effect on their productivity.

“Today more than ever, both employers and employees are acknowledging the link between physical activity and mental acuity, and the ability to perform at our best,” said Brooks Hagen, senior director of Life Time Work. “As a result, we’re seeing demand from both team leaders as well as team members for workspaces that are near health and athletic facilities to prioritize being able to incorporate more into their regular wellness routine.”

When they’re in a rut during the workday, respondents said their mood can be improved by getting active and going for a walk (33%) or exercising (19%).

However, a fifth of employed Americans admit they exercise once a week or less (17%).

Around 40% of Americans are feeling a dip in their productivity. Getty Images

Nearly two-thirds of all respondents said that being active would make a difference in their ability to be more productive at work (64%).

“The idea of an activity-based workspace design is more relevant than even five years ago,” Hagen said. “Working in a space that actively encourages physical movement throughout the day is healthier and allows for occupants to do their best work. Being part of a community at work also increases satisfaction levels and that passes through to accountability — knowing the people you work out with means you’re more likely to show up.”

But how much can respondents veer from being tied to their work? Thirty-nine percent “always” or “often” struggle to find time for themselves during the workday.

To maximize employee productivity, those surveyed said that offices should have unique areas available like a quiet room (36%) and gym or fitness space (23%).

Similarly, 70% said the environment they work in affects the quality of their work-related ideas and have had a good work-related idea in non-work areas like their bed (33%), a coffee shop (21%) or the gym (14%).

If they had the chance to take more breaks, those surveyed would especially want snack breaks (42%) or mental breaks (35%).

One in 10 respondents want more exercise breaks, with hybrid employees being the most likely to want them.

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 employed Americans was commissioned by Life Time between March 1 and March 6, 2024.

It was conducted by market research company Talker Research, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society (MRS) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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