Remote Workers Are Swingers: Mid-Week Golfing Is Up 278%

Golf, and many other leisure activities, are seeing a massive afternoon spike thanks to remote working flexibility.

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By Dan Bova

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I don't play golf, but I get it. You're outside, presumably with friends, getting in swigs of beers in-between swings of clubs. Sounds truly delightful, and mostly for this reason: if you are not out on the links, you are not sitting behind a desk.

McKinsey reports that 58 percent of Americans can work from home at least one day a week, and a new study from Stanford shows that people are using this flexibility to get in on the aforementioned fun.

The study found that 278% more people were out playing golf at 4 p.m. on a Wednesday in August 2022 than in August 2019. Overall, 83 percent more golf games were being played on a weekday in August 2022 than in August 2019, per data gathered from 3,400 golf courses.

Related: French Court Says Man Was Wrongfully Fired For Not Being 'Fun at Work'

Speaking to the New York Times, researcher Nick Bloom says that this study reveals why the service sector of the economy has been able to thrive post-pandemic.

In short, doing things like shopping for clothes, going to the movies, or exercising was hard — if not impossible — during the day within a rigid 9-to-5 work structure. But now, with flexibility and bosses who are cool with employees working shifted hours, people can reap the mental and physical benefits of doing something fun in the afternoon, then putting in hours of work after their family's dinner plates are cleared.

"You can have a huge increase in productivity using leisure resources throughout the week," notes Bloom. "It's an odd unexpected boost from post-pandemic working from home."

Golf courses aren't the only ones seeing increased usage. The Times reports that ClassPass's most popular time for salon and spa treatments was noon in 2022. That's a change from 6 p.m. in 2019. And Chelsea Piers golf club, Bouldering Project climbing gyms, and the Y7 yoga chain all had hugely profitable years buoyed by a massive increase in afternoon usage.

Related: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Have Fun and Be Productive

Unlike eating Tides Pods, this is a trend we should all embrace. At this point in human history, we all know the creative, psychological, and productivity benefits of having fun, so if you are an employee with some flexibility in your day, be sure to get out there and do some fun stuff. And if you are a boss, be sure to let your employees get out and do stuff! And if you're me? Maybe it is time that I finally try golf. I can already recite Caddy Shack from memory. So what? So let's dance!

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim and Spy magazine. Check out his humor writing at Planet Bova.

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