Morning Lark or Night Owl – What If Employers Recognized and Supported the Schedules of Both?

Do you find that you’re more alert in the early morning hours or that you do your best work late at night? What if as an employer you recognized your employee’s ‘best working’ hours and encouraged them to work when they were most productive? It seems like it could be a win-win situation for everyone. So, why isn’t this something that is more prevalent in the workplace?

According to Psychology Today, “thirty to forty percent of us have a strong enough preference to be classified by psychologists as either “evening types” or “morning types,”….” If you are more productive late at night you are considered a night owl. If you are more alert in the morning, you are considered a morning lark. Either attribute is considered your chronotype. Unfortunately, there is often a stigma if you are a night owl as you need to sleep in the morning when many people are up and about. Think of the saying, ‘the early bird gets the worm.’ However, there are benefits to both scenarios. As Psychology Today goes on to report, “There is a good bit of research correlating certain personality traits with sleep phase preference. Did you know that people who naturally wake up earlier tend to be more conscientious? Or that night owls tend to perform better on intelligence tests?”

What are you? The Wall Street Journal offers a quiz to determine if you are a morning lark or a night owl, check it out here.

We are all familiar with the concept of night shifts for manufacturing workers but what about for the average 9 to 5 workers? As work-life balance continues to be a notion companies promote to distinguish themselves, and the idea of working from home or ‘anywhere’ is becoming more accepted, what could you do to support your employee’s favored chronotype in order to create more productivity for the business? Please send us your comments below.

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