Imagine your boss approaching you in the office morning and introducing you with the following hushed talk: “Morning, Eileen! I just want to let you know that we’ve decided to review the budget today. I hope you are in a good mood; there’s no more haggling for Christmas and New Year’s bonuses this year. The money will all go directly to capital projects.” No one gets offended, unless he says “excellent.”

A lot of people assumed that, when they switch to an office based around a rush hour, it would be less like that and more like it. But, no, that’s just not how most workplaces work — especially not at the start of the week or on the weekends. You are greeted with another mysterious low voice.

An explanation for your peaceful demeanor is that you have a clock programmed to pass the same number of hours of the day. If you are at a desk with a large screen, the clock will automatically appear when you are awake. On your phone and computer, though, the clock will slow down the clocks to the speed of eye movement. Your phone dials itself when you are on the move. You can, of course, work faster by blinking.

For those of us who have had any close experience of the human body, this isn’t all that strange — we naturally move at a slower pace when we are awake rather than asleep. But, according to a recent study in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, this is really something for both the day and the night worker. According to the study, workers who get between 6 and 10 hours sleep at night work about 10.5 hours a day — not just 10 hours a day at 7am on the dot. If you also have weekends off, so the logic goes, you cannot follow the same work pattern and get the same job done.

So for either the day or night worker, your physiological clock should be reset to 8 am, and, you should be prepared to wake up early. But, as we now know, for many employees, the early life doesn’t have as bright a start as the early death.

Read the full story at The Atlantic.


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