Hit The Snooze: Sleeping In Makes You A Smarter Worker
Work + Life Balance

Hit The Snooze: Sleeping In Makes You A Smarter Worker

HEYYY, SLEEPYHEAD, TIME TO GET TO WORK. OR IS IT?

Some of us are morning people around the Career Contessa offices, but some of us are... definitely not. If you’re one of the night owls dragging yourself out of bed after your third (or fourth) alarm goes to get to the office on time, we’ve got some news you might want to bring up at your 9am meeting: sleeping in might actually make you a better worker.

According to a recent BBC article, research shows that aligning work days around employees natural sleep cycles actually makes them more productive and innovative. Specifically, they're “more focused, less stressed, and generally healthier.” One study found there are even implications regarding our honesty: “Night owls behave more unethically in the morning than at night and...early birds were more unethical at night.”

Late mornings are for loafers, right? Research shows we’re thinking about it all wrong.

The main problem with American workplaces is that they tend to focus on time-in, time-out. We’ve all thought about it: when you’re salaried, the emphasis is supposed to be on the projects you complete, not the hours you log. {click to tweet} That approach is all fine and good when you have to stay late a few weeks running to meet a deadline (or work on weekends to catch up after an illness), but when does anyone come in late to the office or skip work on Fridays during slow periods? Yeah. It’s about as rare as a White Rhino.

Top all that off with the fact that we tend to look down on people who sleep more (“Sleep is for the weak,” anyone?), and we virtually condemn any semblance of sleeping past 8 A.M. during the workweek. {click to tweet} Late mornings are for loafers, right? Research shows we’re thinking about it all wrong.

“If you stop focusing on time, you have to decide what results you are paying people for,” says Richard Olsen, one of the researchers the BBC interviewed. Most companies and businesses would agree they're paying for results, specifically their employee's output, including the quality of it. So why should we care what time employees start their work? Concept.

Some fields already do a better job of this than others. If you’ve ever worked with a web developer, chances are he or she dragged himself into the office around noon and worked until late at night, long after you'd headed off to happy hour or the gym. Likewise, the rise of freelance culture means we’ve also seen an increase in people making their own hours (and even taking the occasional nap on the job).

The bottom line is: if you’ve never been a morning person, flex hours might be exactly what you need to up your productivity and make your work better. Try it sometime. We dare you.

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Do you start your day later? Tell us how that's working out for you in the comments.