Even In Offices With Flex-Time, “Morning Bias” Is Real
A University of Washington study shows that despite the increase in the number of companies offering flexible schedules, managers still tend to give early birds higher conscientiousness and performance ratings.
Two University of Washington experiments, one involving real-life employee-manager pairs and the other with undergraduates managing fictional employees, demonstrated the continued prevalence of morning bias when it comes to perceived notions of workplace performance. In both experiments, employees arrived at the office at different times of the morning; with the real-life pairs, those arrivals ranged from 5:00 to 9:45 and averaged out at 8:42. Across the board, employees who arrived later received lower performance ratings. Even when the fictional employees had identical productivity profiles, the undergraduates still favored the early birds over the latecomers.
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What’s the Big Idea?
Max Nisen writes, “Employees who start later, even for a good reason, might be inadvertently hurting their career prospects. And companies that put pressure on employees—even unwittingly—to start earlier are likely to lose a lot of the benefits of allowing flex-time in the first place, such as attracting talented people who might not otherwise be able to work full time, and letting people work when they’re most productive.” The study will appear in a future edition of Journal of Applied Psychology.