“Owls” always envy morning persons for the fact that they are more successful, and “early birds” envy to “owls” for the fact that they can afford some evening entertainment while the first already tend to sleep. But scientists from Sydney University (Australia) and University of North Carolina (USA) found out that both of them will be happy, and the employer will benefit if everyone is given the opportunity to work align with a convenient biological schedule.
For instance, for morning persons the peak of their daily activity and, accordingly, productivity is in the morning and in the first half of the day. After about 15:00 they begin to lose energy.
For the “Owls,” on the contrary, the morning is the time of the energy recession, they begin to “raise” only after 10:00 am or closer to noon, reaching a peak of activity in the afternoon or evening.
There is also an intermediate chronotype (so-called “pigeons”). This type is the most productive in the middle of the day.
These differences in the chronotypes of employees need to be considered when selecting a team if you want the results of its work to be optimal. To describe the effect of differences in chronotypes on the productivity of team work, scientists have introduced the term “command energy asynchrony”.
This means that the peaks and falls of physical and mental energy do not coincide with the members of the group during the day. Such energy asynchrony can have both a positive and a negative effect, depending on the specifics of the work.
So, if we are talking about a group of employees who are required to independently make joint decisions depending on the changing situation – for example, about a team of surgeons or rescuers – then it is important that the circadian rhythms of all team members coincide. Otherwise, energy asynchronism will only harm everyone.
But in a work that requires distributed attention, when different team members can “turn on” one by one, substituting each other, energy asynchrony is just a super-exit.
From this point of view, it will be logical if people with different types of daily activity are included in the flight crew for long flights, or in a group of nurses with night shifts in the intensive care unit, or in a group of policemen who lead the surveillance.
By the way, during the study, scientists identified three main groups of workers, most suitable for morning, evening and intermediate shifts. It was noted that those people who did not have the same working time as the circadian rhythm, experienced a coordination dysfunction and a poorer uptake of information.
- Read more Productivity tips.
- Explore WorkTime Personal for maximizing your productivity. It’s Free forever.
- Read the alternative theory of chronotypes Early Bird Or Night Owl? Outdated. Bear, Dolphin, Lion Or Wolf!