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Scientists say your staff is starting work at the wrong time and it’s killing their productivity

Many of us know that 9-to-5 grind all too well. According to scientist Dr. Paul Kelley of Oxford University, this schedule is making your staff unproductive and unhappy.

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Many of us know that 9-to-5 grind all too well. With the combination of sleep schedules, commutes, and actual work, the rigid structure of the eight-hour workday can be rough on the body as well as the mind.

For those of you reading and nodding in agreement with this being in-tune with your life, you may be interested in what scientist Dr. Paul Kelley of Oxford University has to say on the matter.

“It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical, emotional and performance systems in the body,” Kelley said, as quoted in Sarah Knapton’s Telegraph article.

So, what’s the solution?

Kelley is an advocate for the workday beginning at 10 a.m., as he believes the body and mind are more likely to be productive with that, intended, extra hour of sleep. He has explored the fact that a human’s circadian rhythm is not in sync with 9-to-5 hours until the age of 55. As a result, these hours can be damaging to performance, mood, and mental health.

In an effort to prove that the shift to 10 a.m. start times should be a societal change, tens of thousands of young students in England will take part in an experiment where they begin school at a later time. This change is thought to display an improvement in exam results.

Shifting start times

Studies done on sleep cycles in relation to productivity have found that the average 10 year-old does not begin to focus properly prior to 8:30 a.m. Kelley has stated that shifting school start times can raise grades by 10 percent.

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With this, Kelley encourages workplaces to begin having their staff start at 10 a.m. He explains that sleep deprivation can have harmful effects on health that have the ability to impact performance, attention, long-term memory. Deprivation of sleep can also lead to an encouragement of drug and alcohol use, because they can be used as a crutch for sleep aid.

Time to listen to science

Workplaces that have more relaxed hours can often find an increase in productivity. There is room for employees to have an appropriate amount of sleep while getting away from the stress of structured hours.

As time marches forward, we need to use it to our advantage. Why stick with the same old routine of 9-to-5 when mental well-being and productivity can be found with change?


Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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