The early bird catches the worm… or at least the boss’s good opinion.

By Seriously Science | June 11, 2014 9:11 am
Photo: flickr/trophygeek

Photo: flickr/trophygeek

I don’t know about you, but I am definitely not a morning person. So it’s too bad that, according to this study, employers are biased to perceive employees who arrive to work late to be less conscientious and worse performers than those who arrive early–regardless of how much they actually work. Not only that, but supervisors who are themselves night owls are more less likely to have this negative perception of late-starting employees. I guess it’s time to start setting that alarm… :(

Morning Employees Are Perceived as Better Employees: Employees’ Start Times Influence Supervisor Performance Ratings.

“In this research, we draw from the stereotyping literature to suggest that supervisor ratings of job performance are affected by employees’ start times-the time of day they first arrive at work. Even when accounting for total work hours, objective job performance, and employees’ self-ratings of conscientiousness, we find that a later start time leads supervisors to perceive employees as less conscientious. These perceptions in turn cause supervisors to rate employees as lower performers. In addition, we show that supervisor chronotype acts as a boundary condition of the mediated model. Supervisors who prefer eveningness (i.e., owls) are less likely to hold negative stereotypes of employees with late start times than supervisors who prefer morningness (i.e., larks). Taken together, our results suggest that supervisor ratings of job performance are susceptible to stereotypic beliefs based on employees’ start times.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: reinforcing stereotypes
  • Uncle Al

    If you can perform your job in an hour/day, the other seven hours must be insubordination no matter what their content. The only trusted employee is one whose sole marketable asset is loyalty.

    Management obsesses on what is measurable instead of promoting what is important. Management is rewarded for enforcing process not creating product (e.g., GM’s $1.7 billion recall of 2.6 million vehicles a decade after acknowledging a defect and continuing to incorporate it, SOP). Promotion within hierarchical management is quantitatively worse than random choice, arXiv:1102.2837

    That is why we fail.

  • Mark Roth

    Based on the summary above, late rising employers are less likely to judge late arriving employees harshly, so your summary has that piece wrong

    • Seriously Science

      You’re right. We corrected this error. Thanks!

  • Matthew C. Barrett

    Your summary is somewhat misleading, due to different meanings of the word “late.” This is not about tardiness (which would actually be an indicator of low conscientiousness) but about mere chronological lateness. That’s much more troublesome, especially for those of us whose late shifts have been explicitly assigned by our employer. I wonder if that might also mitigate the effects? You’d hope that an employer who assigns someone to an evening shift would not then judge the person as lazy for adhering to that assignment.


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