Well, it’s been a few days now since our semi-annual ritual of the “changing of the clocks,” otherwise known as Daylight Saving Time (DST).
Did you finally get that difficult-to-reach clock changed?
How do you feel? The change to DST can affect some people for a full 3 weeks following the changeover (Sleep Medicine Journal– 2009 edition).
How has this change affected your productivity and your business? I’ve been studying the effects of switching time standards on business productivity for some time now, and here are a few of the things I discovered:
- The economic cost of changing over each year is estimated at $433,982,548. (“Estimating the Economic Loss of Daylight Saving Time for U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas” -2012 study by Chmura Economics & Analytics.)
- On the job accidents increase in both number and severity on the Monday after DST starts. (Journal of Applied Psychology -2009.)
- There is a dramatic increase in “Cyberloafing” (surfing the Web when you should be working) on the first Monday after DST starts. (Journal of Applied Psychology -2012 study.)
Based on the above information, it is obvious that changing time standards twice yearly is a detriment to the business community.
Perhaps more startling however, are some facts that indirectly impact the business community, such as:
- Heart attacks are 3.9% higher than normal the first week after the start of DST. (Sleep Medicine Journal-2012 edition.)
- There are 8.6% more traffic accidents than normal on the Monday following the start of DST. (New England Journal of Medicine -1996.)
- The journal Accident Analysis and Prevention calculated that simply staying on DST all year around would save 366 lives from fatal auto and pedestrian accidents. (“Accident Analysis and Prevention” report -2004).
* * * * *
Apparently Ben Franklin first suggested ways to better utilize daylight in the summer months back in the 18th century—to save candle wax.
Proponents of DST cite energy savings as the main reason for the change, but a study done in Indiana when it went to state-wide DST showed that the switch cost the state of Indiana about $9 million per year in increased energy consumption.
It seems that since the days of using candles for lighting, the world has developed automatic heating and cooling; automatic street and highway lighting; automatic security lighting; and automatic building lighting… all of which are only concerned with temperature, dawn, and dusk—regardless of what our clocks say.
But, if DST got you down this year (remember, it takes some people 3 weeks to adjust to the change), just be comforted in the knowledge that the folks in Washington know better than you do what is best for you.
And what do the folks in Washington care about only 366 additional fatalities each year because of the time change? That’s nothing compared to all the other deaths attributed to accidental causes.
Of course each state can opt out of DST if they want, but Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states to stand up to the Washington bureaucrats so far.
It seems to be the actual “changeover” from one standard to another that creates all the problems. I don’t think it matters much whether it’s standard time, or daylight saving time… well, maybe it does if you are lighting your home with candles.
Some time ago, I did a little research on the subject of “time” and the keeping thereof, and presented it in a blog post. If you have any interest in how we got to where we are today, you can check this out—click here.
What do you think—is changing time standards twice a year a good thing?