Cognitive Performance in the Home Office - Evidence from Professional Chess

Steffen Künn, Christian Seel, Dainis Zegners

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, traditional (offline) chess tournaments were prohibited and instead held online. We exploit this as a unique setting to assess the impact of moving offline tasks online on the cognitive performance of individuals. We use the Artificial Intelligence embodied in a powerful chess engine to assess the quality of chess moves and associated errors. Using within-player comparisons, we find a statistically and economically significant decrease in performance when competing online compared to competing offline. Our results suggest that teleworking might have adverse effects on workers performing cognitive tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2020

Publication series

SeriesGSBE Research Memoranda

JEL classifications

  • h12 - Crisis Management
  • l23 - Organization of Production
  • m11 - Production Management
  • m54 - Personnel Economics: Labor Management


  • teleworking
  • productivity
  • chess

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