Procrastination's Impact in the Workplace and the Workplace's Impact on Procrastination



Procrastination is a self-regulatory failure, whose costs are debated. Here, we establish its impact in the workplace. Using an Internet sample, we assessed 22,053 individuals in terms of their sex, employment status, employment duration, income, occupational attainment and level of procrastination. High levels of procrastination is associated with lower salaries, shorter durations of employment, and a greater likelihood of being unemployed or under employed rather than working full-time. Also, procrastination partially mediates sex's relationship with these work variables. Women tend to procrastinate less than men, evidently giving women an employment advantage. If women procrastinated the same as men, there should be 1.5 million fewer women in full-time employment in the US. alone. Determining the causes of procrastination in the workplace, we also examined it at an occupational level. The results strongly support the gravitational hypothesis: jobs that require higher levels of motivational skills are less likely to retain procrastinators. However, there was some support that jobs can foster procrastination. Procrastinators tend to have jobs that are lower in intrinsically rewarding qualities.