Better Employee Productivity- Scheduling According to Internal Clocks
Companies all over the world are improving employee productivity by scheduling according to their internal clocks. Here's how this one simple change can boost employee effort and improve morale.
If you could improve employee productivity simply by experimenting with the right tool or the way you schedule work times, would you do it? Smart business owners are always on the lookout for creative ways to boost productivity without spending a lot of money. And, it's no secret that happy, healthy employees perform better in the workplace. Well, it turns out that simply adjusting your employee's work schedules according to individual chronotypes can result in a tremendous boost in productivity and workplace morale.
Scheduling according to chronotype is actually pretty simple. Think about it. Are you an early riser or a night owl? Everybody tends to be more focused and energized at different times throughout the day, and your employees are no different. Instead of scheduling everyone to come and go at the same time, adjust their schedules according to their internal clocks.
According to this report from the New York Times, companies across the globe are making this simple change, and they're seeing tremendous results.
As a business owner, you're all too familiar with the balancing act of creating a schedule that keeps employees happy, labor costs down, and productivity up. Let's take a look at how scheduling according to your employee's internal clocks can solve all of those problems and result in huge gains for both you and your employees.
1. A Reduction in Workplace Accidents and Illness
Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on performance, focus, and overall health. Even one extra hour of sleep can result in fewer workplace accidents, fewer sick days, and employees who are more focused on the job.
According to the National Safety Council, as many as 13 percent of all workplace injuries are attributed to fatigue. They also report that 27 percent of employees admit to falling asleep on the job. With employee lawsuits continuously on the rise, this is a critical safety issue for employers.
In addition, lack of quality sleep can lead to health problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and more. The results are more sick days for your employees and decreased productivity for your company.
Adjusting employee schedules is an easy way to help them get more sleep. For example, a German steel mill now assigns early shifts to the early risers and late shifts to the night owls. The results are a win for both the company and its workers.
2. Happier Employees
Finding good employees is a struggle most employers are all too familiar with, and that isn't likely to change anytime soon. So, keeping your valuable employees happy is a smart move for any business owner. For example, a Danish pharmaceutical company provides new hires with a training session to determine their individual chronotypes.
Each employee's schedule is then adjusted to allow more challenging tasks to be done when they're more focused, and easier tasks are done during downtimes. This change has resulted in a tremendous increase in employees' satisfaction with their jobs and work-life balance.
3. Improved Work Ethic
How can adjusting employee work schedules according to their internal clocks affect their work ethic? You might be surprised to find out how much the two are related. In fact, an interesting experiment was done by researchers to test this theory.
The study included one group of night owls and another group of early risers. The subjects were asked to play a dice game with $500 as the prize. The participants were asked to report their own scores on an honor system.
The morning people who played at midnight were 18 percent more likely to be dishonest about their scores than they were if they played in the morning. On the other hand, night owls were 16 percent more likely to lie when they played against their chronotype.
Easy Ways to Take Advantage of These Benefits
If these benefits sound like something your company could benefit from, they're fairly easy to achieve with a few simple changes in the way you set your employee schedules. In fact, one minor change could give some pretty significant benefits.
According to experts, most people are quite comfortable somewhere in the middle between being an early riser and a night owl. Their natural internal clock wakes them around 8 AM and sends them off to bed around midnight. If you want to keep things really simple, you could simply adjust your workday to start at 9-30 AM or 10 AM to match the chronotype of much of your staff.
Another easy to change to implement is to schedule meetings in the middle of the day when most people are hitting their midday slump. This simple change could result in a major productivity boost because many people get the most work done in the quiet early morning hours or towards the end of the day, as long as they're not interrupted by meetings and other tasks.
Improving employee productivity by scheduling according to their internal clocks will require some planning, but it doesn't cost a lot of money. In fact, improving productivity will boost profits and reduce labor costs. Even better, the changes don't have to be dramatic to make a huge difference in employee morale and performance. A one-hour adjustment might be all you need.