The Modern Workday’s New “Dead Zone”

By: Kaydee Ambas · July 19, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Afternoon Escape

So long, midday slump. In today’s remote and hybrid work environment, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM is emerging as a new “dead zone” for productivity.

Companies are noticing fewer employees are in the office or online during these hours. For workers, the increased flexibility to work alternative hours can boost productivity in other areas of life.

Triple Productivity Peak

In a recent sampling of Microsoft Teams (MSFT) usage, keyboard activity for American workers typically experiences three distinct spikes throughout the day.

The first surge comes in the morning, around starting time. The second comes in the early afternoon, presumably after lunch breaks. This is followed by a notable decrease in activity during the‌ dead zone between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Somewhat surprisingly, the final productivity spike comes in late at night, around 10:00 PM.

This suggests that, while remote or hybrid employees might tend to rush out of the office early, many may make up for it later in the day.

Balancing Work and Life

With the flexibility allowed by remote work, workers may be signing off during this dead zone to pick up their children, hit the gym, run crucial errands, or simply beat traffic home.

As many major companies from Google (GOOGL) to JPMorgan Chase (JPM) tighten return-to-office mandates, this raises a pressing question for today’s workplace. If a remote worker still gets eight hours of work done throughout the day, does it really matter when they work? Employers and employees alike may have to wait around for the answer — but next time you send out an email after 4:00 PM, you might not want to wait around for a response.

Looking for more stories like this? Check out On the Money — SoFi’s one-stop-shop for news, trends, and tips!

Check it out

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender