Company leaders are always talking about efficiency and productivity. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. But what are productivity and efficiency exactly? Are efficiency and productivity different or the same? Is one better than the other?

In this article, we’ll help you better understand the differences between efficiency and productivity, and so much more.

What Is Efficiency?

If your company is efficient, that means it is especially capable of producing desired results with little or no waste with very few resources. This is the basic dictionary definition. When we’re talking about waste, we’re talking about time, resources, work and materials.

If you’re able to produce the same amount of work with less time and resources, you’re being more efficient. If you use more time and resources but produce the same amount of work as before, your performance is less efficient.

Therefore, efficiency is simply the quality and degree of effectiveness at which a company is being efficient.

Company leaders should try to encourage efficiency, whether they’re providing a service or making products.

But they should also be productive.


What Is Productivity?

The dictionary defines being productive as, “having the quality or power of producing especially in abundance.” Much like how “efficiency” is a measure of how efficient a company is, “productivity” is simply a measure of how productive a company is.

Those who are concerned with productivity are trying to make the most output with the resources they have. For example, if they have a large budget, they’re trying to produce the largest amount of work possible. If they have a small budget, then they’re still trying to produce the largest amount of work possible.

These two concepts might sound pretty similar at first, but there is a nuanced difference when you compare them to one another.

Efficiency vs. Productivity


In most company circles the words productivity and efficiency get thrown around as if they’re synonymous. And while that might be colloquially correct, it’s not technically correct.

There’s more than meets the eye to the whole “efficiency vs. productivity” discussion.

Efficiency refers to the amount of effort and resources people put into work, while productivity is all about the amount of work done over a certain period of time.

Productivity is proactive.

Efficiency is reactive.

Productivity is about achieving the best output no matter the situation. Companies do not become more productive because their budgets or timelines grow. A company becomes more productive because they’re focusing on doing more with their current resources. Whether the budget is big or small, people who focus on productivity care more about accomplishing everything they possibly can with what they currently have.


Let’s say your company can process 40 documents per hour. A company focused on productivity would try to increase the number of documents they can produce in that hour.

So, your people have worked hard and are now able to scan a total of 50 documents per hour. They have just become 25% more productive.

Whether they have 6 hours or one hour, the productivity-focused company can still work at the same pace. They still produce as much as they can, even if their total numbers drop due to cuts.

Efficiency is more about survival. Or, at the very least, efficiency is about trying to do the same work with fewer resources.

Let’s say your company, which can now process 50 documents per hour, gets its budget slashed. Now, the company is trying to do the same amount of work (50 documents processed per hour) with fewer resources to process them. This would be the time to focus on efficiency.


It Is Best To Be Productive And Efficient, But If You Must Choose, Choose Productivity


In a perfect world, companies would try to be both efficient and productive. Companies should always be looking for ways to do more with what they have while doing the same amount of work with less waste.

That being said, most successful companies put their primary focus on productivity, not efficiency.

Productivity helps companies do more, while efficiency helps companies do the same with less.

Companies are only really succeeding when they’re growing, also known as making a profit.

And that growth or increased profit requires more productivity performance.

If a company is going to focus on making anything more efficient, it should be all of the tedious work that needs to get done but doesn’t really help the company grow.

That’s where eFileCabinet comes in.



eFileCabinet Focuses On Efficiency So You Can Focus On Productivity


eFileCabinet is a document management software that processes and organizes all of your documents for you. We’ve helped countless clients in the legal, human resources, insurance, and accounting industries get their document management needs under control as well as save them time and resources.

You can personalize eFileCabinet and configure it to recognize all of your different document types. Using Zonal OCR, eFileCabinet can then read these different company documents and automatically file them away in their respective folders. On top of that, eFileCabinet can automatically set up permissions on these documents, so only those who should have editing or viewing permissions have them.

All you need is eFileCabinet and a scanner.



To put it simply, eFileCabinet has made document management more efficient so your company can focus on being more productive.

Sign up for a free demo today and see how eFileCabinet can make your company’s work more efficient and more productive!