Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress, has a unique perspective on what it means to be productive. To Mullenweg, it doesn't matter what hours someone works, where they work, or even if they sleep at their desk. All that matters is their output at the end of the day.
Judging productivity from this standpoint makes sense in a world where everyone has so many things going on simultaneously. It might not makes sense for your senior designer to come into the office every day if he has a two-hour commute that leaves him frazzled by the time he gets to the office. If he can produce the same quality work from the confines of his home, why not let him work remotely? Adapting to the needs of individuals is surely a way to boost productivity while satisfying needs of those around you.
The trick to making this approach work is to hold those around you accountable, says Mullenweg. If someone is supposed to complete a task by Thursday morning, it is important to enforce this deadline and follow up on their completion. If goals are only loosely enforced, people tend to slack off and procrastinate on tasks. Finding the right people is the only other challenge.
When judging the productivity of your work, try to see it from Mullenweg's perspective. Maybe you have to leave work early for some reason, or exercise in the morning and come in a bit late. Don't let this fool you into thinking you lost productivity that day. Base that assumption off of the final output each day. This is the best way to monitor the work you have actually completed, and hopefully you can set some time aside for doing the things you truly enjoy!