Beyond the Build

Beyond the Build

The Triple Peak Workday

I recently read an article from Microsoft tracking the productivity of knowledge workers. Traditionally, there have been two peaks where people really focus and get things done: They come around 10:30 am and 2:30 pm. When Microsoft revisited their research recently, they found that for many, there is now a third peak, which comes around 8 or 9 pm.

Evidently, this became more prominent during the pandemic, when a portion of the workforce had to shift their work habits to care for children or aging family members. Others may be using some time to exercise, take care of appointments or for an extended break. Whatever the reason, people who are not in the office seem to be stepping away from the computer during the day. The workload did not change, so the hours had to extend. 

Some might see this third peak as an opportunity for flexibility and freedom. The consistent peak of evening work does seem to prove that when people feel they have missed productive hours earlier in the day, they find a way to make up the time and get things done. As for me, I am an early riser and have no idea how one can work starting around 9 in the evening. I actually find my most productive time is during those early morning hours where I seem to hit on all cylinders.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.