Want Productive Employees? Match Work Schedules to Their Internal Clocks
The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.
This week, John and Rachel discuss an Inc, “Want More Productive Employees? Match Their Work Schedules to Their Internal Clocks” by Minda Zetlin.
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Good morning. Happy Monday. It’s John Garrett, coming to you with an episode of Green Apple Slices where every Monday I always talk with Accountants & Alliances for Sage Canada, Rachel Fisch.
Rachel: Hi, John. How are you?
John: Good. It feels like rhythm to it. I like it.
Rachel: Finally, you got it. You go it.
John: Yeah, it’s like Stomp the Yard. We should dance to it now. Whenever anyone asks you your name or your title, you just have to do the whole thing and it’s got to be a rhythm to it.
Rachel: Yeah, I was just thinking like a clapping, stomping thing. Yeah, you let me know what that looks like and I’ll not learn it and not ever do it. Everybody on the podcast can see it.
John: Right. I’m glad that it’s not a webinar. Whoo!
John: Exactly. But I found this article and I thought it was hilarious and then I started reading it. It was like, well, look at that. It was on Inc., and it’s “Want More Productive Employees? Match Their Work Schedules to Their Internal Clocks.”
Rachel: This is a very fascinating thing to me. I heard Daniel Pink speak in Washington, D.C., and he’s got a book out called When. If anything about this article interests you or sounds fascinating whatsoever, you guys have to go get this book. It’s When by Daniel Pink. Basically, what he’s saying is that pretty much everything in our lives, there is a perfect time to do it. There’s a perfect time to really stock updates, to have a doctor’s appointment, to have your work schedule. It’s absolutely fascinating and so this kind of goes right in there. I don’t think it’s something that’s often talked about. I kind of think that companies would be like, “I have to do what now?” But the science absolutely backs it, and it’s so interesting.
John: Yeah. There’s also a perfect time to record a podcast and it’s Monday mornings.
Rachel: Monday mornings. Don’t tell your Wednesday guest.
John: It’s a pretty good time. It’s not the perfect time. Also, I love that all of Daniel Pink’s books start with one word: Drive. They’re easy to remember. They’re really good books too.
I love the example here. If you have early risers, don’t force them to stay late past their bedtime, probably. Or if you have people that are night owls, don’t ask them to be at a meeting at 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. This is not going to happen. They’re not going to be actually present. They’ll be there physically, but it’s just as good as them not even being there at all.
I think that’s interesting. I don’t know, though. That would involve a lot of work though, because now that’s just something else you have to know about somebody that maybe some people don’t even want to share, like when they wake up or when they go to sleep or whatever type of a thing. I guess it’s hard to have meetings unless you just do them at noon because then everybody’s involved. Is that how that works?
Rachel: Well, I don’t know. It’s already kind of tough sometimes to have meetings because we’ve got colleagues basically around the world. Sometimes you’re getting up super early to take a call especially our BC colleagues who experience that far more than I do. But, yeah, I definitely get some of that as well, or like having a meeting at six o’clock or seven o’clock at night.
John: Yeah. People in Australia, I’m convinced they don’t sleep at all. I’ll do calls with people down there like Chris Hooper and people and I’m like, “What time is it there?” “It’s 5:00 a.m.” “Are you drunk? What the hell is going on? Did you stay up, or did you wake up?” Either way, I feel bad.
Rachel: There is no right answer there. Yeah.
John: And Clayton, I don’t think he sleeps either. He’s just a robot.
Rachel: No, never.
John: But the science to back it up here is just they have three things they say that employees will get more sleep, they’ll be more honest and they’ll be happier, which is good for business, all three of those things. It just talks about just workplace accidents which, in an accounting firm, you get that broken nail on a 10 key, it’s really brutal. But clearly, when you’re fatigued, you make mistakes entering data or working with the information that you have in front of you, and you don’t want to have that clearly. That is an interesting thing. But the honesty thing I think is something I had never thought about before.
Rachel: Yeah, and yet there’s a test for it that showed that basically morning people doing a late evening task or midnight task were more dishonest about the results of something, and night owls needing to do something early in the morning also lied about the results more often. It’s very interesting. But I think when it comes to trying to determine what your chronotype is, and that’s basically if you’re a morning person or a night owl, that also comes down to what are the hours that you feel the most productive. That can probably go a long way to helping you identify whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. But I think also then arrange your work and your work schedule around when you know you’re the most productive, right? So have meetings in that 10:00 to noon slot or for some, it’s more 2:00 to 4:00. Again, much easier to do if you’re working with smaller teams or if you’re self-employed, but certainly something that you can keep in mind when you’re needing to do those kinds of tasks.
John: Absolutely. So hopefully, Monday mornings still work for you now that we’ve read the article, but it is what it is. No, I’m just kidding. That’s not a good attitude to have at all.
If anyone wants to catch the articles, you can go to greenapplepodcast.com. There’s a link there, all the past articles we’ve talked about and other interviews that I’ve had. So have a good rest of the week, Rachel.
Rachel: You too, John. Talk to you later.