Study Finds Pizza Can Increase Work Productivity—But Not The Way You May Think

March 16, 2018 4:52 pm Last Updated: March 16, 2018 4:52 pm

A workplace study reportedly found that pizza was a bigger motivator than cash and increased productivity in the workplace by 6.7 percent. But there are some caveats.

The study was discussed by Dan Ariely in his book “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations,” The Cut reported.

It was conducted at an Intel factory in Israel. Employees assembling computer chips were divided into four groups. For hitting a certain productivity target, one group was promised a small cash bonus (about $30), another was promised a compliment from their boss, and another was promised a slice of pizza. The fourth group wasn’t promised anything and served as a control group.

After the first day, the promise of pizza increased productivity by 6.7 percent, compared to the control group. The promise of compliment boosted productivity by 6.6 percent, and cash by 4.9 percent.

After a week, the effects of the promises somewhat diminished but, overall, the pizza and compliment groups did the best. Interestingly, the cash group suffered a 13.2 drop in productivity on the second day. It was able to level it out over the next few days, but still ended the week with worse overall productivity than the control group.

Ariely thought the pizza would have done even better if it was sent to the homes of employees who hit their target. “This way … we not only would give them a gift, but we would also make them heroes in the eyes of their families,” he wrote.