Convincing Health Reasons Why We Should Start Work at 10 AM
If you’re not feeling very productive at the start of your workday, don’t despair, there’s a perfectly good explanation for it, and it has nothing to do with you being lazy or hating your job.
In today’s world where time is money, employers want as many work hours and as much productivity from their employees as possible, but few pay attention to the actual needs of their employees as human beings and individuals. If we want increased productivity and a healthy work environment, science says, we need to start listening to what our bodies are telling us and act accordingly. You can tell by yourself – if you’re sleep-deprived, no matter how long you stare at the task in front of you, chances are your performance will be below average.
So what do our bodies tell us? When is the best time for you to start your work?
First of all, you need to know that persons between the ages of 18 and 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep each night in order to function properly. Not getting enough sleep can lead to numerous consequences, including memory problems, moodiness, hallucinations, depression,high blood pressure, heart disease , weight gain, weakened immune response, an increased chance of gaining type 2 diabetes and many others. Not only do these decrease your work productivity, but they also affect the quality of your everyday life. And if you’re unhappy and unhealthy, how ready are you to give your best to the world?
Our productivity has to do with our circadian rhythms.
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, and are mainly influenced by the changes in the amount of light in the environment. These rhythms influence our sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature, heart activity, blood pressure and other important bodily functions. It’s the same thing as a biological clock, only it works on a daily basis. Abnormal circadian rhythms can be associated with obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.
Dr. Paul Kelley, a neuroscientist and research associate at Oxford University explains why starting your workday at 10 am would be better for employees.
He insists that we cannot change our circadian rhythms since our bodies react to sunlight and therefore we cannot learn to get up at a certain time. You can’t ask your internal organs to start the day early just because your boss says so. Since our circadian rhythms don’t match with the 9-to-5 work schedule until the age of 55, it would be better to adapt the work hours to our natural rhythms, and start the workday an hour later, at 10 am, says Kelley. Otherwise, you will be dealing with sleep deprived employees and lower performance.
Changing the work hours is beneficial for the employer too, because if your staff isn’t very productive during that first hour at work, it’s better to have them come to work later than pay them to just sit around and pretend to be working while they are actually just drinking their morning coffee and trying to wake up.
Need some more proof?
Let us just point out that two of the probably most successful companies of today, Google and Microsoft, let employees choose when they’ll start their workday (within certain time parameters). They have realized that flexible work practices lead to increased productivity, higher job satisfaction, and decreased turnover rates.
If we wanted to sum up the benefits of starting the workday at 10 am instead of 9 am, the first thing to point out would be, of course, respecting our natural needs and rhythms.
If we respect what our bodies are telling us, we will be happier, healthier and overall more productive. On the other hand, forcing our bodies to work longer than they should with less time for rest can lead to serious illnesses and lower productivity.
Having that extra hour in the morning, whether you wanted to use it to sleep longer, take a long shower, spend it with your kids or partner, exercise or make a delicious meal, can lead to a happier, healthier, more productive version of you when you finally get to the office.