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Understanding the Impact of Daylight Savings on Your Business

Watch out, small business owners. Starting Sunday, March 10, you may notice some changes you didn’t see coming. 

Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. ET on March 10, 2019. Yes, you can expect some extra light when you leave work in the evening. But be cautious – there are some things to watch out for, too!

Health effects on your employees

Several studies have cited harmful effects of daylight saving time, including a loss in productivity and disorientation as a result of the change. The disruption in sleep patterns can make people restless at night with decreased sleep quality and increased grogginess in the morning. 

Your staff could be less engaged at work than usual during the week after pushing our clocks forward. One study even determined that daylight saving time results in a dramatic increase in “cyberloafing,1 an act described as using computers and the internet to do things that aren’t work related during the work day. 

Your employees’ health could be impacted, too. Increased stress during the first week of daylight saving has resulted in a greater number of heart attacks.2> Accidents at work are also common, particularly in manual labor3

Fortunately, the opposite effect also appears to be true. After returning to standard time in the fall, no significant differences in heart attacks, sleep, injury quantity or severity are found.

Calculating the economic impact

The effects of daylight saving time reach beyond just a week of unrest. All these disruptions are costing us money, too. Nationally, the figure amounts to roughly $434 million.4

While many have argued that the extra hour of sunlight encourages consumer spending to boost the economy, studies testing the theory haven’t found a significant increase. For any uptick in spending in the spring, the downturn in the fall was much larger. 

Some industries do benefit, however, including golfing, tourism and recreation. We can’t say we’re surprised – who doesn’t like to head outside for some extra sunshine after work?

How to combat the change

So what can you do to prepare for the upcoming time change? Try a few of our tips:

  • Stick to your typical schedule – the routine will help keep your circadian rhythm in check.
  • Encourage employees to exercise by offering a group fitness class or gym reimbursement. Endorphins can help them power through their grogginess.
  • Find ways to incorporate natural light into the work day, whether that means walking meetings or spending time in conference rooms with the largest windows.
  • Develop promotions around the theme of daylight “savings,” and if it’s relevant to your business, stock up on inventory related to sleep, rest and comfort.
  • Plan to get some extra sleep, if your schedule permits. Your body will thank you.

In the end, it’s only an hour. Put in a little extra effort, and you can minimize the impact of daylight saving time while keeping your business on course. 

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