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Flexible work can dampen motivation

Giurge, Laura ORCID: 0000-0002-7974-391X and Woolley, Kaitlin (2022) Flexible work can dampen motivation. Harvard Business Review. ISSN 0017-8012

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Whether you’re balancing a day job with caregiving responsibilities, working on a side hustle, or just looking for more autonomy over your schedule, flexible work can be a boon for employees. However, recent research suggests that it can also come with a hidden cost: A series of studies with almost 2,000 employees and students found that working at non-standard times significantly reduced people’s intrinsic motivation, making work less motivating and enjoyable. The good news is, the authors also identified an effective intervention to enable workers to reap the benefits of flexible work without sacrificing their intrinsic motivation. By shifting their mindsets to normalize working during traditionally non-working hours, employees and students were able to stay motivated even when working on weekends or holidays. Based on these findings, the authors recommend tactics such as customizing your calendar display, installing an app to notify you when it’s work time, or simply reminding yourself to focus on the benefits of flexibility, to make working when you want to work more palatable — even if it goes against default social norms.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 Harvard Business School Publishing
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2022 10:24
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2022 14:09

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