When is the best time of day for executives to work on strategic tasks?

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When is the best time of day for executives to work on strategic tasks?


Insights from research at HEC Lausanne-UNIL
While studies have shown how our biological clock and the time of day can affect the mood of Twitter users or the performance of doctors and judges, how does it work with executives’ How might their choice of timing affect the company when it comes to communicating strategic information? Find out in the first research of its kind, conducted by Prof. Elizabeth Demers.


When personal resources are consumed at a particular point in the day and continue to be depleted, fatigue builds up, tensions emerge, stress increases and performance drops. For executives who need to plan important tasks and lead strategic discussions, picking the wrong time of the working day, when their ability to perform is likely to be at a low ebb, can have a negative impact on both their own and their team’s activities, and the company in general.

By analyzing over 18,000 conference calls between senior executives and financial analysts, Prof. Demers and her co-authors sought to understand how far the time of day’s effect on human biology, emotions and cognitive function might influence executives’ performance and ability to communicate, and ultimately, have a positive or negative effect on financial results.

So, when do you think is the best time of day?

Find out the answer in our HECimpact blog article, which outlines the results of the research led by Prof. Demers (HEC Lausanne, UNIL) and her co-authors, Jing Chen (School of Management, University at Buffalo) and Baruch Lev (Stern School of Business, New York University).

Get to know more about:

: Elizabeth Demers is Professor of Accounting at HEC Lausanne. Her recent research interests are related to the role of non-financial information (including linguistic measures derived from textual analysis of corporate communications) in assessing and predicting firm performance, and the impact of disclosure and communications on the firm’s cost of capital.

: The DAC is involved in pedagogic research, publishes research papers and develops numerous scientific relations with accounting specialists from companies and professional associations.