Friday Afternoons: The Least Productive Office Hours, Study Reveals

Friday Afternoon Least Productive

Friday Afternoons: The Least Productive Office Hours, Study Reveals

Office workers often find themselves losing steam as the work week progresses, particularly in the afternoons and on Fridays. A recent study conducted at Texas A&M University has provided empirical evidence to substantiate this widely accepted belief. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE and was orchestrated by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, and Health Behavior.

The research team, led by Drs. Taehyun Roh and Nishat Tasnim Hasan, scrutinized the computer usage patterns of 789 office-based employees at a prominent energy company in Texas. The data was collected over a span of two years, from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018.

Traditionally, studies on worker productivity have relied on self-reported data or supervisory evaluations which are often subjective. Some even use wearable technology which can be invasive. In contrast, this study used computer usage metrics such as typing speed, typing errors, and mouse activity to gather non-invasive and objective data on work patterns.

The team discovered that computer use escalated during the week, reaching a peak on Thursday, before dropping significantly on Friday. Employees exhibited more mouse movement, clicks and scrolls from Monday through Thursday, with a marked decrease in these activities on Friday. Additionally, there was a notable drop in computer use every afternoon, particularly on Friday afternoons.

Dr. Roh observed that employees were less active in the afternoons and made more typing errors, especially on Fridays. This finding is consistent with other studies which have shown a steady increase in task completion from Monday through Wednesday, followed by a decrease on Thursday and Friday.

The implications of this study are significant for employers who are keen to optimize productivity in the workplace. One potential solution could be to consider flexible work arrangements such as a four-day work week or a hybrid work model. As of May 2023, approximately 60% of full-time paid workers in the United States worked entirely on-site, while the rest worked remotely or had a hybrid arrangement involving both remote and on-site work.

Flexible work arrangements can alleviate stress associated with commuting and workplace politics, leading to increased job satisfaction. Employees also benefit from more time with their families, reducing work-family conflicts. Moreover, they have more time for leisure activities and exercise which can improve physical and mental health.

An added advantage of flexible work arrangements is the potential for cost savings through reduced electricity use and a smaller carbon footprint. As more people opt for electric height adjustable standing desks or the best sit stand desk for their home office setup, there is potential for improved health benefits from an electric stand up desk.

The findings of this study offer valuable insights for business leaders seeking to enhance work performance and promote workplace sustainability. By understanding how productivity fluctuates throughout the week and day, employers can make informed decisions about work schedules and office environments. For instance, knowing how to choose the best standing desk could contribute to improved productivity and health in the office.

In conclusion, it’s clear that productivity among office workers tends to dip in the afternoons and on Fridays. By adopting flexible work arrangements and considering ergonomics such as standing desks or TV lifts for better posture, employers can create a healthier and more productive work environment.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

Google Reviews

Ergomotion

Google Reviews

Andrew Pieterse 14/06/24

Google
Great service and really quick shipping. It is great to know that you are getting quality parts from a Scandinavian manufacturer with your standing desk purchase rather than the cheap knock off stuff you get from other major brands. Reasonably priced for the quality too!

Janette Clarke 20/05/24

Google
Guy was very accommodating with meeting him at a time that suited me. He assembled the desk prior to me collecting so I only had to carry it inside with help (it's pretty heavy). The desk is great, the storage racks underneath with the 6 x built in powerpoints was worth the extra money. I have a functioning & tidy workplace.
Guy was brilliant, I highly recommend.
Janette

Nickel 10/05/24

Google
Have now purchased 2 stand up office desks off Guy, benchmark sales service from him, all via email, so easy; from quote to plug in, only matched by the strong quality of these machines, solid and stable. If only everything in life was this easy and reliable.

Jennifer Fadriquela 23/03/24

Google
I purchased an EDesk this month from Ergomotion, and it was a remarkably smooth transaction. Guy was eager to answer all my questions before my purchase. As a first-time buyer of a standing desk, I truly appreciated how he addressed my queries with thorough details and provided options within my budget.

The delivery process was also smooth, despite a slight delay in the ETA. Guy ensured I received all necessary updates from the courier/removalist.

I've been using the desk for a couple of weeks now and I'm satisfied with it. It's sturdy on all height adjustments and the motor works as expected. I also like oak finish because it's clean-looking and suits my room setup.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and I'll definitely recommend Ergomotion to someone looking for their desk needs.

Josh Oliver 04/02/24

Google
I've had an ergomotion desk for 10 years. It's still as good today as it was brand new. Over the years Guy has always responded promptly to any guidance I've needed (mostly help putting the desk back together after removalists take it apart).

Michael Cheung 18/01/24

Google
Great service from Guy and the team at Ergomotion! Helped with all my queries and was able to source a standing desk part for me when many others weren't able! Highly recommend!

Shao Lei 30/11/23

Google
Decent desk and awesome service. Highly recommend

Rod Hathway 10/11/23

Google
Awesome experience. Great value, super customer experience, ordered, assembled and picked up in 24 hours!

Dom K 06/11/23

Google
Skip the big name brands and buy from Guy instead, 10/10 linak parts with a very well built tabletop.

Chris Wu 06/11/23

Google
I purchased the edesk from Guy at Ergomotion. Guy was a pleasure to deal with and the desk arrived the next day. Guy was highly knowledgeable on the desk and provided very prompt support on the installation. I can highly recommend Ergomotion.
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