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Know Your Employee’s Chronotype

The time of day can strongly impact cognitive performance. 

chronobiology.jpgThere has been a flurry of scientific studies into how our biological clocks and  circadian rhythms work. Most of it has to do with cell science, physiology and chronobiology but some is trickling up to the psychological-level and is therefore of interest to cognitive designers.

Most relevant to cognitive design is the idea of a chronotype where our functioning is optimal depending on the time of day.  We  are a morning person (lark), night person (owl) or are indifferent.   Chronotype correlates to being vigiliance, creative, able to absorb new information and other aspects of cognitive performance.

An excellent article,  A Time to Think:  Circadian rhythms in Human Cognition,  rigorously reviews the time-of-day effects on 20+ attentional, memory and executive functions.  These 20+ cognitive processes sweep in most of what counts for knowledge work in organizations today.

So the next time you are designing a policy, program or process aimed at improving knowledge work, be sure to consider the chronotype of the employees you are designing for.


One Response to “Know Your Employee’s Chronotype”

  1. Cognitive Design » Blog Archive » Chronobiology and Design Says:

    [...] an earlier post, Know Your Employee’s Chronotype, I highlighted an article that argued cognitive performance is influenced by our biological clock [...]

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