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This time of day is when workers make the most errors

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Employee productivity and accuracy decreases during the afternoon, according to a recently published study in the science journal PLOS ONE

Researchers studied almost 800 office-based, not remote, employees for two years.

Unlike other studies which examine worker productivity, this one doesn’t rely on self-evaluations or manager feedback. Instead, researchers tracked computer usage metrics like typing speed, mouse activity, and typing errors. 

Afternoons tended to be when most typing errors were made. And on Friday afternoons, specifically, there was a decrease in computer activity and increase in typos. 

“This aligns with similar findings that the number of tasks workers complete increases steadily from Monday through Wednesday, then decreases on Thursday and Friday,” Taehyun Roh, co-author of the study and an assistant professor at the Texas A&M University department of epidemiology and biostatistics, told ScienceDaily.com

This aligns with similar findings that the number of tasks workers complete increases steadily from Monday through Wednesday, then decreases on Thursday and Friday.

Taehyun Roh

assistant professor at Texas A&M University

Study authors say this research adds to the mounting evidence that workplaces should allow more flexibility

Most workers, surveys show, would welcome this change. A majority of employees, 61%, say they’d rather work a condensed workweek, and 33% say they’d quit their job for one with a shortened week, according to a Monster survey.

“Flexible work arrangements, such as hybrid work or a four-day workweek, may help mitigate the negative effects of long workweeks and promote better employee well-being and productivity,” study authors wrote.

“For instance, employers may be more open to allowing employees to telecommute on Fridays or implementing shortened workweeks with Fridays off.” 

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