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Springing Forward May Disrupt Your Whole Week

Coping with Daylight Savings Time
Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

For those states that participate, daylight saving time for 2019 starts on Sunday, March 10. That means U.S. clocks will spring forward by an hour at 2 a.m. But it's not just clocks that will be affected.

The negative personal effects of daylight saving time have been discussed for years – it disrupts one's circadian rhythm, which controls sleep, energy and hunger. A recent study by Monster found that 1 in 4 employers and job candidates find it harder to get out of bed on the Monday after springing forward. And 11 percent said the change throws off their entire week.

The change that daylight saving brings has been known to lead to a loss in productivity, according to research by professors at Singapore Management University. Workers generally feel deprived of approximately 40 minutes of sleep on Monday, which can lead to accidents and injuries on the job. In fact, a lack of sleep is likely to result in workers who are less ethical, less morally aware and more prejudiced. Daylight saving time has also been known to lead to "cyberloaf" behavior, meaning people waste time online rather than doing actual work. One estimate says the loafing can cost the American economy as much as $434 million annually.

That doesn't mean all is lost. You can still take some actions to mitigate these ill effects.

  1. Encourage your employees to go to bed early on Saturday and Sunday nights to help adjust their internal clocks. It's also a good idea to encourage that they avoid alcohol and heavy nighttime meals.
  2. Send a reminder for people to make sure their clocks are properly adjusted and their alarms are set.

Daylight saving time causes problems for employers too. Hourly employees working the graveyard shift on Sunday will work one less hour. Some employers will still opt to pay for an eight-hour shift, but they are not legally required to do so under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Those same graveyard shift workers may get that hour back in the fall when the time change ends. (Fall daylight saving time presents a separate issue for employers of nonexempt employees who might have to pay overtime compensation in the fall.)

  1. Double-check the rules and regulations for your geographic location to make sure there aren't other issues or obligations that affect your business.
  2. Make sure your payroll is completely accurate before checks go out.

Regardless of the negative effects, some 31 percent of the Monster respondents said they look forward to daylight saving because it generally means more light in the afternoon. Currently, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and most of Arizona do not observe daylight saving time.

Daylight saving time was initially adopted as a way to conserve energy and coal in 1918, during World War I. Today, the Department of Transportation, which controls the time zones, says it is used to save energy and lives, prevent traffic injuries, and reduce crime.

Anna Attkisson

As official task master Anna loves nothing more than crossing an item off her to-do list, except possibly whipping someone on the pool table. She drives the editorial planning and execution of content on Business.com and BusinessNewsDaily. Specialties: Planning, organizing others, mastering CMSes, editing