I’d love to say I relish my alarm going off at 7am. It would be great to jump out of bed and do yoga before work. It’d be nice to have a brain that engaged before my first dose of caffeine.
But no. None of this happens in my world. My internal body clock seems to be set to a different time zone.
There’s no joy (and limited brain-power) before at least 8.30am. Some days that can be closer to 10am.
Society loves morning people. Early risers are seen to be more punctual, achieve more, the CEOs of the world. Bosses love morning people too. They see employees who get in early as more conscientious, more productive, and more reliable.
But that’s not exactly fair.
I may not be the first at my desk every morning, but that doesn’t mean I’m not working hard. When I’m productive, I’m REALLY productive (I put this down to all that unspent energy I’ve saved up during the course of the morning). I’m conscientious, reliable and so much more.
I’m good at what I do, regardless of what time I rolled out of bed. And this article on Wired has just confirmed what I suspected all along – it’s all down to my genes. Without wanting to launch into a science lecture, did you know there are 351 genes that are responsible for how your internal body clock works?
The fewer of these genes someone has, the less likely they’ll be springing out of bed at the crack of dawn. If my mornings are anything to go by, I definitely don’t have my full gene quota.
I’ve always found it hard to go to sleep and even harder to wake up the next day. My wife always tells me I’m lazy. But finally, I have scientific proof that is not the case.
Luckily for me – and all the other millions of gene-light, non-morning people out there – there’s some respite: flexible working.
More bosses are taking notice of their employees’ internal body clocks, and moving away from a nine-to-five working day.
Work gets done at home, meetings are scheduled for the middle of the day, and techies can feel free to get their best work done when others are asleep, if they so desire.
I don’t imagine many Silicon Valley bosses impose traditional nine-to-five hours on their workforce. There’s a new mindset in town. One that’s less about punctuality and more about creativity, agility and working at a time and place that’s best for you.
The majority of senior tech candidates I meet know exactly what they want from a role – and it’s not office puppies (although they do help). They want the flexibility to work hours that suit them – whether that’s to fit in with childcare or their morning lie-in is beside the point. In the tech space, there’s loads of flexible work options. And with tech skills at a premium, body clocks are by the by.