Life is divided into binaries: light and dark, night and day, people who find it easy to get up in the morning and people who do not, in fact, find it easy to get up in the morning.
For those of us who fall into the latter category, though, the Sisyphean, caffeine-fuelled nightmare of getting to work on time may be about to get a lot easier. That’s if your boss listens to the results of a study from the University of Sydney, anyway.
It’s all down to something called “chronotype diversity” – basically the biological predispositions that make your body clock unique. That predisposition can also dictate how productive you are at certain times – explaining why some people do their best work in the morning before a mid-afternoon slump, and some in the afternoon.
Researchers suggest that employers should be more mindful of circadian rhythms to get the best out of their staff.
“These physiological differences matter a lot in the work context and we have to understand how it affects teams,” said lead author Stefan Volk. “When people are different, it can be positive or negative depending on the specific task they are performing. If members of a surgical team are different chronotypes, for example, that is not ideal.”
“By studying what is known from the medical and biological sciences about the functioning of the human body, I believe we can improve employees' performance in a myriad of ways including, but not limited to, workplace safety and effective team work.”
So next time you’re late to work because you slept in, tell your boss it’s because of a biological inevitability. It’ll definitely, definitely work. Probably.