Are You a Better Worker When It’s Awful Outside?

Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino has found that productivity gets better when the weather gets worse. “On a bad weather day, people are better at focusing on their work, not because the weather makes them grumpy but because they have fewer distracting thoughts about what they might otherwise be doing outside,” Gino wrote on her blog. “Indeed, cognitive distractions and error rates were greater on nice days than on bad-weather days.”

Do you find yourself more productive on days when the weather is awful (like today, in this city, where there is freezing rain and falling icicles and awnings)? Bloomberg Businessweek says the answer is likely yes because we’re more focused and less distracted about what we could be doing outside of work. One thing that may distract us though: mice. The article notes that mouse trap sales increase “by 25 percent for every one-degree drop in temperature” as critters take refuge from the cold and hide in our homes.

Photo: macrofight



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