The Deadtime Effect of Idle Time at Work
A series of study by Brodsky and Amabile (2018) reveals that meaningless idle time (= periods when workers are waiting for a task to be ready for them), occurs frequently. Idle time at work is often viewed as problematic. Therefore, people seek to unproductively stretch out their work to avoid such idle time, which generates a so-called deadtime effect.
The deadtime effect refers to the phenomenon when workers anticipate idle time after finishing a task, their work pace declines and their task completion time increases. As the anticipated idle time gets closer, the deadtime effect exerts a non-linear, accelerating negative impact on work pace.
WHY WE NEED TO ADDRESS DEADTIME EFFECT
- Workers who often (have to) use the strategy of work stretching may experience frustration for their job, the manager, and the business they work for.This contributes to even lower productivity in the long run.
- Having idle time allows employees to meet unexpected demand for their ro (...) Read more? Sign up for free