By Jeremy Ang, Published in Human Resources Online

With an increasing focus on the productivity of employees, what if we told you that if you let your employees take this pill, they could perform better with little or no negative side effects?

Sounds like a movie? Well, according to a recent meta-analysis by researchers from the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School, a drug called Modafinil is a cognitive enhancer, meaning it can essentially help the average person think better.

In the 24 studies the authors reviewed, the drug, typically used to treat sleep disorders, was found to improve decision-making and planning the most, out of all the cognitive processes.

“When more complex tasks are considered, Modafinil appears to enhance attention, higher executive functions, and learning and memory,” the authors wrote.

A few of the studies also showed that the drug helped people improve flexible thinking, combine information, or cope with novelty.

However, one aspect the drug seemed to have no effect on was creativity.

Surprisingly, no serious safety concerns were found in the data examined, though most studies only looked at the effects of a single dose and were done in controlled environments.

Nevertheless, negative health consequences can still be associated to these drugs especially when taken in large doses.

Studies have shown that using Modafinil for long periods of time can affect sleep patterns.

With few negative side effects found around these “smart drugs’, the question now is: Would bosses encourage staff to take these pills to improve productivity?

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