On March 28, the daylight-saving time (DST) started at 1 AM as the clocks were moved forward to 2 AM to have more daylight in the evening—what is called “springing forward.”
The change would be in the form of 16 hours of daylight in the summer solstice for the UK. What could this mean for businesses?
Originally meant for efficiency and increasing productivity, DST is a debatable topic as it has some perceived effects on businesses, as much as it affects our circadian rhythm and productivity. Are there any potential benefits of daylight-saving time? Which sectors can avail positive impacts from the time transitions? Let’s have a look.
Reasons for Daylight Saving Time: Highlighting the Good and Bad
- Reduced Energy Consumption: In theory, DST has its purported effect on reducing energy usage with increased hours of daylight in the evening. With clocks going back/forward, electricity (increasing AC and heating use) and gas consumption can increase.
- Increased Productivity: Contrary to belief in the positive effects of DST on employee productivity, a reduction in sleep quality increases the likelihood of decreased productivity and can cause mental, physical, and emotional health issues of employees. The same goes for workplace injuries and accidents due to time transitions with disruption in motor functions.
- Task Scheduling: The modern-day scheduling of tasks depends on knowledge of DST as well as time zones. The information can be used to leverage business decisions. Targeted email campaigns, sales calls, and meetings can be aligned with the DST flag to enable smarter contacts with potential clients.
- Boost in Consumer Spending and Certain Industries: Consumer spending gets a supposed boost though it is offset due to a lack of productivity. The tourism industry gets a considerable boost because of longer evenings. This is especially true in the spring and summer months where businesses open for longer periods of time and customers stay outside more. Likewise, seasonal businesses can capitalize on the time transition and raise their sales.
Companies associated with leisure and entertainment can work in tandem with daylight-saving time. The construction industry also merits more daylight as the sector is inclined to early starts.
Time-sensitive Operations: DST can disrupt businesses with the loss of revenue owing to improper filing of timesheets and other technical issues. Counteracting them would need a network time clock and manual adjustments to avoid errors.
Safe Transition to Daylight-Saving Time
Businesses need to be aware of the time transitions as they affect employees up to a week of falling back or springing forward. Here’s what companies and employers can do:
- Adjustment of work processes to account for longer evenings/darker mornings.
- Implementation of extra safety precautions to bring attention levels to normalcy.
- Addition of extra illumination wherever required.
- Modification of start times for employees working in risky positions.
Most of the operational hours follow uniformity that is set by the clock and DST can have a significant to little or no impact on businesses. The biannual change can bring new and more opportunities and improve efficiency with proper adjustments from employees and employers.