Rainmakers: Why Bad Weather Means Good Productivity

MOST PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT BAD WEATHER CONDITIONS REDUCE PRODUCTIVITY.IN THIS RESEARCH THE AUTHORS PREDICT AND FIND JUST THE OPPOSITE.

Using empirical data from laboratory experiments as well as from a mid-sized Japanese bank, the research demonstrates that weather conditions influence one’s own cognition and focus. For indoor work contexts, worker productivity is higher on bad rather than good weather days. By reducing the potential for cognitive distractions, bad weather was actually better at sustaining individuals’ attention and focus, and, as a result, increasing their productivity. Overall, findings deepen understanding of the factors that contribute to worker productivity. Key concepts include:

  • Seemingly irrelevant factors that managers cannot control, such as weather, may have powerful effects on workers’ productivity.
  • Organizations could assign more clerical work on rainy days than sunny days to tap into the effects of bad weather on productivity, assigning work that does not require sustained attention but does allow for more flexibility in thinking.
  • There is a significant gap between people’s general beliefs about the effects of weather on their productivity and the actual effect of weather on their behavior.
  • Despite the widespread belief that bad weather conditions are related to low productivity, this research provides compelling evidence that people are less productive on good weather days because their attentional resources are more likely to be depleted when they have more choices (such as outdoor activities), and face higher opportunity costs of being indoors.

source>harvard bussiness school,working knowledge http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7060.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s