The 9-5 working week has become the norm for most of us working in offices around the UK. No matter how old, young, male or female, we all have to rise and shine at the same time, work for 8 hours and then make our way back home in the rush hour traffic. However, more and more studies are revealing that the regular 9-5 may not be the best for overall productivity.
Recently, MOMA conducted a survey of 1000 people in the UK, asking them what times of the day they felt at their most productive. The results revealed that our productivity varies depending on our age and gender, and proves that we all work at different levels throughout the day.
People aged 18-24 claim to be less productive during 9am-12pm
The survey showed that overall, 41.7% feel more productive during the first part of their day. However when broken down, only around 30.9% of people aged between 18-24 felt that they were most productive between 9am-12pm.
As the age ranges of the people surveyed increased, the level of productivity in the early morning increased. People aged between 45-54 were actually the most productive between 9am-12pm, with 56% claiming to feel the most motivated during this time.
Women are 10.5% more productive in the morning than their male counterparts
It is not only age that has an effect on productivity levels, gender also showed to have an effect on what times of the day people felt most productive.
46.5% of the females who took part in the survey claimed that they managed to get more work done between 9am-12pm, 10.5% more than their male participants.
When comparing the results between the male and female participants, there was a consistent decrease in female productivity during the day. However, despite 16.8% of men claiming to feel more productive during 12pm-3pm, 19.5% of men stated that their motivation increased from 3pm onwards.
A greater number of businesses are reaping the benefits of flexible working hours
More and more businesses are taking these findings into consideration and offering their employees a more flexible working week. Offering later start times, earlier finishes and even the option to work from home is already proving to be beneficial for businesses.
In 2014, workers in Gothenburg, Sweden took part in a short experiment to see if a shorter working day and a better work life balance had an effect on efficiency and productivity. Since then, businesses all over Sweden have begun to adopt a more flexible 6 hour working day to help cut the cost of sick days and keep their employees happier.
Introducing a more flexible working day not only keeps your current employees happy and healthy, but can also have a positive effect on your recruitment efforts, employee retention, employee relations and help to cut absenteeism by up to 25%. Giving employees the freedom to work at the times they feel most motivated can vastly improve the rate of productivity for the business overall.