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Increasing Productivity: Bye Bye 9 to 5, Hello ‘Triple-Peak-Day’!

the advantages of Triple peak workday

Gone are the days when the standard nine-to-five workday was the norm. Instead, the “triple-peak” workday has emerged as a new trend, reshaping the routines of white-collar employees. The pandemic played a significant role in this transformation, leading to changes in the time of day people choose to work.

The ‘Dead Zone’

According to managers cited in The Wall Street Journal, a “dead zone” was observed between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. during which workers tended to sign off early and then log on again later to complete their tasks for the day. This period became a time for running errands, picking up kids, beating the rush hour commute, or even indulging in leisure activities like golfing.

What is ‘Triple Peak’ Day?

The concept of the “triple-peak” day was brought to light by Derek Thompson in an article published in The Atlantic in April. Microsoft researchers conducted a study and found that employees previously exhibited during the day, one around 11 a.m. and the other around 3 p.m. However, about 30% of the employees in the study experienced a third surge in productivity around 10 p.m.

The shift in work schedules has both positive and negative implications for workers. On the one hand, the new arrangement may hinder collaboration if team members are not available when needed. Colette Stallbaumer from Microsoft’s Future of Work initiative raised concerns about managing flexibility in a way that doesn’t disrupt teamwork.

On the other hand, for individuals whose work is more independent and less time-sensitive, the triple-peak day can offer a potential path to achieving a better work-life balance. Working parents, for instance, can take advantage of this model to spend more quality time with their children during the day and complete their work tasks once their kids are asleep.

However, this adjusted schedule could also blur the boundaries between home life and work, especially if employees end up working longer hours than they would in a traditional nine-to-five setting.

Insights from Microsoft’s Triple-Peak-Day Study

According to Mary Czerwinski, a research manager at Microsoft involved in the triple-peak-day study, each member of a team has their own unique context for productivity. She emphasized the importance of accommodating individual preferences and circumstances to ensure that everyone can contribute effectively. Some might be early risers with babies to care for, while others might be night owls residing in different time zones—yet they can all be productive if given the flexibility to work on their own terms.

In short, the pandemic has led to a restructuring of the workday for many white-collar employees, giving rise to the “triple-peak” workday. This shift has its merits and challenges, affecting collaboration, work-life balance, and the integration of work and personal life. Ultimately, the key to successful implementation lies in recognizing and accommodating the diverse needs and preferences of employees, allowing them to contribute effectively while being true to their individual selves.

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