Thanks to the coronavirus, many of us are stuck at home slowly going crazy in our houses. Confinement and the pandemic that causes it are a nightmare, but at least no one can see or judge your all-day pajamas and weird new eating habits, right?
While your lack of below-the-belt professional attire on that last Zoom call can stay our little secret, a new fascinating new Bloomberg article reveals that electricity data is giving away the broad outlines of our collective lockdown lifestyle (hat tip to my Inc.com colleague Bill Murphy, Jr's excellent Understandably newsletter for the pointer).
The picture it paints is very familiar, if not particularly pretty.
Sleeping late and slacking off in the afternoon
Power market data from virus hotspots shows noticeable and consistent changes in the pattern of our electricity use, Rachel Morison explains in the article. Her analysis offers plenty of charts and details to round out the picture, but in essence here's what our power bills are giving away.
We're getting up later. With no commute to worry about it's no surprise that the morning surge in electricity usage has moved from between six and eight a.m. to between eight and nine.
We're slacking in the afternoons. Even in the office, we've all experienced the "afternoon slump." Now, apparently we're more free to follow our rhythms and take it easy later in the day. That might not be a bad thing.
We're goofing off late into the night. Along with those later wake up times comes the temptation to stay up later unwinding with digital entertainment available. The electricity data reflects that with a steep surge in usage at six p.m. that lasts until between ten and twelve, significantly later than before the crisis.
Pairs well with...
All of which might leave entrepreneurs feeling a little relieved. At least you're not alone in seeing your usual, carefully choreographed routine thrown into chaos by the virus. But then again, as a business owner this might make you worry. Should you fret that your employees are taking walks (or, if you're like me, naps) all afternoon?
Before you get too concerned, trying pairing this information with other new, behind-the-scenes data from time management app RescueTime. It shows, that while our work-from-home hours may be far from conventional, on average remote workers actually do more productive work than in-office ones over the course of the day.
So be comforted that you are the only one whose daily rhythms have been thrown out of whack. You're probably not the only secret pajama-wearing late riser on your Zoom calls. That doesn't mean we're not all managing to make it work somehow.