Night owls who work better late at night risk being seen as incompetent if bosses are early birds

If you’re a night owl and your boss is an early bird, look out – they probably think you’re incompetent.

The warning comes from science journalist Linda Geddes, who has written a book on how sunlight affects our bodies.

Everyone has a circadian rhythm – an individual 24-hour cycle that determines when we feel energised or sleepy – and if yours is not in sync with your boss’s, you may need to watch out, Miss Geddes said.

Businessman working in the office (stock)

Businessman working in the office (stock)

Businessman working in the office (stock)

‘Our mental abilities vary over the course of the day,’ she told an audience at the Hay Festival. ‘In the late morning our logical reasoning peaks, and we find that our problem-solving peaks in the early afternoon. Then we experience this post-lunch dip in alertness.

‘So if you are a lark, someone who wakes up early, all these things are going to happen earlier. If you’re an owl, it will happen a bit later.

‘And that’s kind of a problem, because research suggests that if your manager is a lark and you’re a night owl, they’re going to judge your performance more poorly.

‘They judge them as less competent, essentially.

‘But it’s not just the owls. You’ll find that the larks behave more unethically in the evening, and the owls in the morning.

‘So, ideally, you want to introduce flexible working.’

Everyone has a circadian rhythm ¿ an individual 24-hour cycle that determines when we feel energised or sleepy

Everyone has a circadian rhythm ¿ an individual 24-hour cycle that determines when we feel energised or sleepy

Everyone has a circadian rhythm – an individual 24-hour cycle that determines when we feel energised or sleepy

 

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