The conversations of life

A note for the boss – science says pizza can make you more productive at work


Attention: employers everywhere.

A new study conducted at a technology company in Israel showed pizza provided the biggest incentive for staff to get their work done faster.

Psychologist Dan Ariely sent workers who made computer chips at the company one of three messages at the start of the week – promising them either pizza, a cash bonus of roughly AU$40, or compliments from their boss.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not), pizza won out by a mile.

Compared with the control group, the number of computer chips produced by the ‘pizza’ group after the first day of the experiment increased by 6.7 per cent.

Workers were also suckers for flattery, with the boss’ compliments group coming in a close second (6.6 per cent increase), while the cash bonus group lagged well behind (4.9 per cent increase).

And over the course of the week, while the cash incentive gradually decreased productivity by 6.5 per cent, pizza made workers stay above the productivity baseline.

Maybe not the most scientific study ever – but that’s about all the research I need to hear. Bring on the slices.

With a background in nursing, Annie has spent over 20 years working in the health industry, including the coordination of medical support for international TV productions and major stadium events, plus education campaigns with a number of national health organisations. In recent years, she has also taken time out of the workforce to be a full-time carer, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards of this role.

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