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Working 9 to 2, and Again After Dinner

“I get almost eight hours of sleep a night!” Ms. Hermanson, who works in entertainment in Los Angeles, said. “That is unheard-of. My doctor was always telling me, ‘You’ve got to get more sleep.’”

7:30 a.m. Michelle Flamer, 65, who works for the city government of Philadelphia, sometimes wanders to her kitchen after waking up and immediately starts working. Why not? She’s not leaving the house, so there’s no need to shower yet. Sometimes she thinks, bemused, about all the tasks that used to fit into her morning, like reading Bible devotionals, feeding her pets and hopping on the train. “It’s amazing how much you can accomplish getting up around 6:30 and running out the door a little before 9,” she said with a chuckle.

10 a.m. For many work-from-home parents, especially mothers, the midmorning hours are a period of intense productivity.

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“In the morning I can just bang things out,” said Laura Bisberg, 37, who works at a university press in New York. “My energy starts flagging after lunch.”

Plenty of remote workers, like Ms. Bisberg, found that their rhythms of productivity are more idiosyncratic than they had ever allowed themselves to think possible. Some people are sharpest early in the day, fueled by caffeine and ready to pore over spreadsheets; others are virtually useless until the sun starts to dip.

Working from home has meant more freedom to pay attention to those patterns, and 80 percent of remote and hybrid workers say they’re equally or more productive outside the office than they were in the office, according to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index.

11:30 a.m. The frenzy of meetings is in full swing. Across companies, the pandemic has been accompanied by a meeting creep. Microsoft Teams users, for example, saw the time they spent in meetings each week climb by over 250 percent since March 2020. The increase could be driven by a genuine desire by employers to keep colleagues connected, and maybe also, some workers speculate, by managers anxious to keep tabs on how people are spending their time.

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