Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Annual Daylight Savings Rant

It's no secret that I can't stand Daylight Savings Time.  I see absolutely no benefit to it, only detriments.  And so it is that I will once again subject the world to my annual diatribe.  In the past I've discussed the rise in traffic accidents the first week that DST goes into effect, so this year I'll shift my focus to lost productivity.  According to this article, millions of dollars are lost at this time each year because employees are less focused and spend more time on non-work related activities.

“Using existing data that shows that people exhibit poorer self-control when they're tired, the researchers said that the lost sleep due to the time change -- an average of 40 minutes that Sunday night -- makes employees less likely to self-regulate their behavior and more inclined to spend time cyberloafing, or surfing the Internet for personal pursuits while on the clock,” according to a Penn State report on the research.

The article also attributes some lost productivity to DST coinciding with March Madness, however I will focus only on the time change.  Just to provide some anecdotal evidence of my own, I witnessed 3 co-workers chatting instead of working for at least 30 minutes. While it's entirely possible this has nothing to do with DST, it's at least coincidental.

I've got a reasonable proposal.  If we absolutely must change our clocks twice a year (and I see no reason why we should) instead of shocking everyone with the hour change, why not ease into it by changing 10 minutes a day for 6 days.  That would be much easier to adjust to.  Otherwise I have to start looking at jobs in Arizona or one of the other states that doesn't recognize DST.
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