Thursday, 28 March 2013

Sleep less, Facebook more?

So how did you sleep last night? I’m not making small talk, I’m just wondering how much time you are going to spend in work cyberloafing (your boss might say time wasting). Research shows that for every lost hour of uninterrupted sleep, employees are spending 12 additional minutes on this questionable activity (using company time to check personal emails and visit non-work related websites).
Previous research has found that a lack of quality sleep is related to problems with self-monitoring and self-regulation.  Sleepy people are less able to stay focused, less likely to suppress their prejudices, and less likely to control addictive impulses (perhaps like the dopamine hit we get from winning arguments mentioned in previous posts).

Its therefore not that hard to see how losing sleep, makes us unable to control the overwhelming impulse that most of us share of checking our Facebook or Twitter while at work.
For productivity, that type of behaviour can be a disaster. But as long as we know about it, we can plan around it or mitigate the effects. If you have staff members on call at night (e.g. out of hours tech support) and they get a few calls the night before, then don’t have them doing some intricate task the next day requiring prolonged focus. If you have a salesperson just off a long haul flight, it might not be a good idea to give them an early morning meeting with a difficult client. If a member of staff has new born baby, don’t be too upset if focus and productivity slip a little.

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