NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Fighting Procrastination in the Workplace: An Experiment

Ximena Cadena, Antoinette Schoar, Alexandra Cristea, Héber M. Delgado-Medrano

NBER Working Paper No. 16944
Issued in April 2011
NBER Program(s):   IO

In this paper we test whether procrastination and planning problems affect the performance, compensation and work satisfaction among employees. We conducted a randomized controlled experiment with a bank in Colombia to change the frequency and intensity with which employees received reminders about goal achievements. We also provided small in-kind prizes every week to remind employees of their goal achievement. Loan officers in the treatment group showed strong improvements in their goal achievements, better work load distribution, and higher monthly compensation (not including the value of the small prizes). The intervention also improved worker satisfaction and reduced stress levels, without affecting the quality of the loan officers’ portfolios. We show that including branch managers (the supervisors of the loan officers) in the intervention was central in achieving these results, since they played a key role in reinforcing the reminders and helping employees with planning problems.

download in pdf format
   (177 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (177 K) or via email.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Reuben, Sapienza, and Zingales w13713 Procrastination and Impatience
Cadena and Schoar w17020 Remembering to Pay? Reminders vs. Financial Incentives for Loan Payments
Bettinger and Baker w16881 The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring
Eichengreen, Park, and Shin w16919 When Fast Growing Economies Slow Down: International Evidence and Implications for China
Hungerman w16973 The Effect of Education on Religion: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us