Weekday golfing has gone up thanks to remote working, study finds
Mar 20, 2023, 10:15 AM | Updated: 2:43 pm
(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — More golfers are hitting the links on weekdays, according to a study. This is likely due to work-from-home (WFH) flexibility.
The big question is, if employees’ productivity does not change, should employers care if they are golfing during the work day?
The study, conducted by Nick Bloom, a Standford University economist, explained the correlation between WFH and more traffic at golf courses.
“The most likely explanation is employees are golfing as breaks while WFH,” the study wrote.
According to the study, more people are golfing in general. Specifically, the study found, weekday afternoon golfing increased by 83% from August 2019. Wednesday’s were the most popular or “peak” golf days.
Contextually, to gather this data, researchers used “vehicle data hubs”. When golfers begin a “trip” either to or from the golf course, their car collects and transmits data.
To create a “national figure” researchers had to collect data from across the U.S. This resulted in the identification of 3,400 golf courses across the country.
The study wrote, “The weekday golf increase happened throughout the day, peaking at a 278% increase at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.”
What’s wrong with golfing if you work from home?
Dave and Dujanovic discussed Bloom’s study offering opinions on productivity as it related to WFH.
“If you can prove that you’re doing the same job working remotely, and golfing on Wednesday at 4 o’clock, I have no problem with that,” said Dave.
Dave raised the point, “I’m not convinced the most productive hours are from nine to five.”
If it is a question of fairness, Debbie Dujanovic says to consider those who are “stuck” in the office.
“Co-workers who are staying at home not only get to throw their laundry but run outside and [mow] the yard and get other work done at home in between meetings… this is what’s starting to bug me.”
“There are a lot of folks working from home who are taking advantage of the system,” said Debbie. “They are hoping their boss doesn’t find out, they’re sweeping it under the rug and they’re doing it from the eighth hole.”
One interviewee from Bloom’s study, a tech executive from Palo Alto, agreed with Debbie.
“I think my colleague was taking his zoom call from the golf course. He was on mute and video off, but once when he was talking I heard somebody talking about the fairway and strokes”
Read the complete study here.