NEW YORK — A new poll suggests that what’s happening outside plays a role in how well things are going inside the office for most people. The survey of 2,000 working adults delved into the impact weather may have on productivity — finding 73 percent believe it directly impacts how they work.
Over one in four respondents claim that cool temperatures (28%) and clear blue skies (27%) have a connection to being more productive at work. This coincides with 43 percent who believe they do their best work in the spring. It’s no surprise, then, that 65 percent prefer working outside when the weather is nice — from getting work done in local cafés (53%), to rooftops (48%), and patios (48%).
The survey, commissioned by Wisetail and conducted by OnePoll, also suggests that “Summer Fridays” could be the key to feeling happier at work. About 6 in 10 (59%) say that their jobs offers the warm weather perk — meaning they allow a short day or day off on occasional Fridays during the season. Over eight in 10 employees say they benefit from this perk because it makes them feel much happier at work (85%).
Good weather, great employees
Employees shared which weather factors can make them have a bad day at their jobs — with conditions like heavy rain (25%) and freezing temperatures (25%) being the root cause of unproductive workdays. Meanwhile, 22 percent associate snow with having a bad day at work.
Overall, 68 percent say the motivation to learn or absorb information at work drops when the weather is poor. Nearly as many (67%) will turn the brightness of their computer screens down if it’s gray or darker outside. Another 64 percent say they have to take frequent breaks away from their computer screens when it is overcast.
Poor weather conditions are enough for 63 percent to believe it’s excusable for them to take more time completing their work tasks.
Timing is everything for productivity
Time is also a factor in people’s productivity. In order to have the “best day” at work, the average person needs to wake up at 7:30 a.m., while rising an hour later at 8:30 a.m. would be considered the “worst” way to start off the day.
Sixty-four percent say that daylight saving has affected their productivity in the past, with a majority (85%) saying they feel unproductive when the clock changes.
“While there are evolving variables to the explanation and reason behind productivity and nice weather, we can correlate better weather with a more positive outlook on the day and overall better mood,” says Kyle Reichelt, product manager at Wisetail, in a statement. “We also know that better moods lead to increased motivation and self-confidence which all contributes to efficiency levels in productivity.”
Aside from the workplace, the weather seems to play a role in people’s daily lives. The average respondent says they get seven migraines or headaches per year due to the weather.
Nearly two in three (63%) say they have struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) before — a behavioral disorder where cold, gray weather affects Vitamin D and dopamine levels. Of those who experience this condition, 80 percent claim it affects the quality of work they put in at their jobs.
“Increasing workplace productivity starts with learning which task management tricks work best for you,” Reichelt continues. “While we can’t control the weather, we can control how we tackle our day and adjust for different weather conditions knowing how they affect us. Focusing on one task at a time, taking regular breaks, time-blocks on your schedule, and initiating small goals with small objectives are all tricks you might try! Also, try waking up a bit earlier. As noted in the study, many find that waking up before 7:30 a.m. affects productivity and energy throughout the day. Further, assigning yourself your most challenging tasks that require intense focus at the peak clear-minded time of the day leads to increased productivity and efficiency.”
The weather can affect your productivity at work in a number of ways. It can make it more difficult to do your job, and it can also make you feel unproductive when you are outside.
In fact, according to a recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, weather affects how productive you are at work in two major ways: by making you feel unproductive or by making it harder for you to do your job.
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