Entrepreneurs can testify to the fact that startups require massive amounts of man hours. Normal work weeks are a thing of the past for you and your employees. Perhaps a flexible schedule may be what is best for your growing company.
Wamda came out with an article that looked into the ways workaholic startup owners run their companies. The usual 8 hour work day doesn’t apply to these guys. Regarding knowledge workers, people who handle information such as software engineers or tech startup workers, it may not be possible to work a 9 to 5. But that doesn’t mean it’s optimal.
“Knowledge workers actually have fewer good hours in a day than manual laborers do. On average, [the optimal workday is] about six hours, as opposed to eight.”
Knowledge workers should typically work for a few hours after waking up, take a break for a couple of hours midday, then continue again in the evening. They would work better if their work was spread out throughout the day.
“Cognition is best several hours prior to habitual sleep time, and worst near habitual wake time,” says Kenneth Wright, neuroscientist and chronobiologist, as quoted in a recent article in The New Yorker.
Dr. Steven Kay of the University of Southern California published a study that says adults perform better in late morning. When your body temperature starts to rise after waking in the morning, so does your alertness, memory and concentration. Psychologist Robert Matchock of Pennsylvania State University supports this as well, agreeing that people tend to become easily distracted between noon and 4 PM.
Knowledge workers are also more sensitive to sleep loss. Research supports this fact, that even losing just one hour of sleep each night causes cognitive degradation. That’s like blowing a .10 in a breathalyzer. Instead of smashing the snooze button, get up right away. Putting your brain back into a sleep cycle actually hurts your productivity for the rest of the day.
In conclusion, it’s much better for knowledge workers to be given flexible work schedules. Overworking your employees won’t get you the productivity growth you’re looking for. If you’re looking for better ways to increase your efficiency, contact our business consultants here at AccelaWork!