Left vs. Right Handers: A Productivity Analysis

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Graphic: “Left vs Right Handers: A Productivity Analysis”

It’s estimated that just 10% of the population is left-handed. There are many myths and stereotypes about the differences between right and left-handers. For example, left-handers are thought to be more creative and have a tendency to be more introverted than right-handers. Historically, people even went so far as to say left-handers were evil.  Is there actually any truth to these myths?

We decided to explore the differences between right and left-handers’ workplace habits to determine how true these myths and stereotypes actually are. We conducted a survey of 375 right-handers and 375 left-handers on questions related to their productivity and behavior in the workplace. Read on to find out more about what we learned.

Are Left Handers More Creative Than Right Handers?

Graphic: “Creative or Analytical?  How Left & Right Handers Perceive Themselves”

The first myth that we decided to dig into was whether left-handers are really more creative than right-handers. We did find that a higher percentage of right-handers than left-handers describe themselves as more analytical than creative, though the majority of left-handed males do identify as more analytical than creative. The majority of left-handed females were the only group to consider themselves more creative than analytical, though only by a very small percentage.

Left-Handers’ vs. Right-Handers’ Productivity

Next, we asked respondents questions about their productivity to determine which group is more productive in the workplace.

Graphic: “The Most & Least Productive Weekdays for Left & Right Handers”

We first asked respondents about their most and least productive day of the week, and we were surprised by the results. Friday is the most productive day of the week for both left and right-handers. The least productive day of the week for right-handers is Monday. It’s a tie between both Monday and Tuesday for left-handers. When reviewing the results by gender, the results are the same as the overall left vs. right except for right-handed females. Their most productive day is Thursday.

We also asked respondents about the times of day that they’re able to get the most done and the two groups were very similar in their responses. The most productive time of day for both right-handers and left-handers is 7-10am, followed by 11am-1pm. Neither group appears to have many people burning the midnight oil – late night hours, 1am-3am, are the least productive time of day for both right and left-handers. When comparing groups, the highest percentage of left-handed males (11.9%) are most productive in the very early hours of the morning, 4-6am.

Graphic: “Right & Left Handers on the Job Social Media Use”

Social media is one of the most common distractions at work. Spending a few minutes perusing your Instagram and Facebook feeds doesn’t seem like much at the moment, but if you’re doing it multiple times per day it adds up. Based on left-handed stereotypes, many would assume left-handers would be more likely to waste time on social media than right-handers. In this case, the assumption is correct. Left-handers spend more time at work on social media than right-handers. The highest percentage of left-handers average 16-30 minutes, while most right-handers spend less than 15 minutes.

Graphic: “Where Are Right & Left Handers Most Productive?”

Next up, we explored where left and right-handers are the most productive. While both groups are more productive in an office than remote, 42% of left-handers report being more productive at home compared to 36% of right-handers. Right-handed females had the largest difference in results – only 32% report being more productive remote than in an office setting.

Also related to workplace setting preferences, we asked respondents what they prefer to listen to while working: loud music, soft music, podcasts, audiobooks, or nothing at all. Lefties and righties were similar in their responses here as well. The top preference for listening at work for both left and right-handers is softly playing music, though a higher percentage of left-handers than right-handers listen to podcasts and loudly playing music.

The Sleep Habits of Right and Left Handers

Graphic: “Comparing Sleep Habits of Left & Right Handers”

The time that you wake up and get your day started can have an impact on your productivity, especially when both left and right-handers report 7-10am being their most productive time of day. Right-handers wake up earlier than left-handers – the most frequent wake-up time for right-handers is 5-6am, while left-handers wake up between 6-7am. The highest percentage of right-handed males wake up very early, between 4 and 5am. The highest percentage of left-handed males wake up very late, after 12pm. The most common bedtimes for both groups is 10-11pm, followed by 11-12am.

Graphic: “The Average Number of Caffeinated Drinks Right & Left Handers Consume Daily”

As a natural follow up to wake up times, we asked respondents about their average caffeine consumption per day. The highest percentage of both right and left-handers drink a conservative 2 caffeinated beverages per day on average. Interestingly, 16% of left-handed males drink more than 5 caffeinated beverages per day.

In addition to the above, we’ve included more interesting insights we uncovered in our survey below.

  • The majority of both right (66.1%) and left-handers (64.3%) prefer to work independently rather than with a team.
  • The highest percentage of respondents that prefer to work with a team are left-handed males (40.5%).
  • 38% of left-handers report feeling bogged down by details frequently or very frequently, compared to 32% of right-handers.
  • The most effective learning styles for left-handers are: visual (45.6%), kinesthetic (21.6%), reading/writing (20.5%), and auditory (12.3%).
  • 52% of left-handed males learn best visually.
  • Most left-handers spent 2 hours per week furthering their skill sets outside of work. Most right-handers spend 1 hour on average.
  • 1 in 5 left-handers procrastinates very often.

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