Most of us will wake around 6 am and begin the daily grind of waking ourselves up, dragging ourselves into the shower and making our way to work for a 9 am start. This is the way it has been for decades, but is it time for a change?
Studies have shown that 10 am is actually the best time to start the day and here, we’ll be going through exactly why you might want to consider starting your working day a little later.
Sleeping patterns – A clinical sleep researcher from Oxford University called Dr Paul Kelley believes that waking up later in the morning lines us up more naturally with our circadian rhythms. Our body temperatures are also more stable by 10 am, which means we are more awake, more aware and more ‘switched on’.
Travel – Anyone who has ever lived in a major city will undoubtedly tell you that commuting to work between 7 and 9 am is often a complete nightmare. By holding off an hour or so and starting the day a little later, you’ll avoid the vast majority of this unpleasant rush hour traffic and will get into the office without incident. Those travelling to work by train, meanwhile, can take advantage of off-peak travel savings.
Flexitime – Recent years have seen a substantial rise in the use of flexitime, with many organisations understanding that a happy employee is a more productive employee. Indeed, a study has found that 71% of people list flexible working hours. Allowing employees to organise their own flexitime could be a wonderful way to ease them into the concept of a later start and once you start seeing the productivity gains you’ll be more than happy you gave it a shot.
Morale – Starting later would almost certainly have a beneficial effect on the mood of the office. Very few of us these days can manage that full 8 hours a night but if we had an extra hour in bed we might just be able to reach that goal. Also, encouraging mid-work naps is another tactic used by some businesses in the US, though we understand if that might seem a little extreme.
Lack of deprivation – We are a nation of sleep-deprived individuals: As many as 16 million of us in the UK alone are suffering from a lack of sleep and in an increasingly busy world this is unlikely to get better without some serious change. It’s not just adults that could benefit from an extra couple of hours in bed either, as studies have shown that young children should start school at 8:30 and teenagers should start at 10 am. Of course, this would require some fundamental changes to the educational system, but it’s something to consider.