US election reduced developer productivity

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Developer election

US Election Week negatively impacted developer activity in the US, decreasing developer code time. In the most highly contested battleground states, developers saw an even larger decline in coding activity.

National metrics show a decrease in hours coded

Developers who worked during election week coded far less than normal. Active code time—defined as the time spent actively writing and editing code in your editor or IDE—fell 15.8% compared to prior periods.

Developers on Election Day

Battleground states were more volatile

In the key battleground states, where the voting margin between Biden and Trump was within 1.5% (Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), active code time per developer decreased even more on Election Day.

On Election Day, active code time was 16.8% lower than a typical Tuesday.

Developers in battleground states on Election Day

The true cost of elections

Did the stress of the election—or perhaps the distraction of the local news coverage—impact productivity in battleground states?

Teams do not work in bubbles insulated from the world around them. Context matters for development teams and knowledge workers.

Decoding burnout, stress, and frustration requires a holistic view of your team’s challenges. Data can reveal powerful insights into how workplace happiness and productivity are affected by state, national, and even global events that take place outside the office.

Did the election affect your workday? Tweet at us with your opinions.

About the results

We aggregated anonymized data from Software’s community of over 100,000 developers to analyze changes in behavior in the runup to the US presidential election on November 3rd.

Data is from developers using our Code Time plugins for VS Code, Atom, Sublime Text, PyCharm, IntelliJ, and WebStorm, among other code editors.

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