All the nights you’ve spent devouring a pizza, ignoring all the work you’re supposed to be doing, there’s now a way for you to justify it – pizza was found to boost productivity! According to a study led by psychologist Dan Ariely as part of his book Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations, handing out pizza was more likely to incentivize office workers than a cash bonus.
This particular study was conducted at a semiconductor factory at Intel, in Israel. At the beginning of the working week, the workers were sent one of three messages to see which would motivate them to get the most work done. The first group was offered a cash bonus of 30-40 dollars if they exceeded their daily quota. The second group was told that their boss would praise them, and the third was promised free pizza.
Surprisingly, (come on-I’d totally be more motivated by the cash bonus!) the pizza proved to be the most motivating message, just one day into the week! The productivity levels increased by 6.7%! It was closely followed by the second group who had been promised praise, though, which came in behind at 6.6%. By the end of the week, though, the promise of praise by the boss turned out to be more motivating than pizza or cash – although the margin between praise and pizza was quite narrow.
According to reports though, the psychologist felt that the pizza group had not been given what he had in mind. He’d wanted the pizzas to be delivered to the houses of the employees, but they were given to them in the office, instead. “This way, we not only would give them a gift, but we would also make them heroes in the eyes of their families," he had said.
We knew our love for pizza was special, unique, and more intense than the love we have for most other food. Hopefully, this study will lead to more such research about the effect of pizza on people – until then, you can try using pizza as a means to motivate yourself to work more. Employees, we hope you’re reading this!