There’s an ongoing debate over daylight saving time (DST). Is it really good for business?
The DST Pros
For a long time, the Chamber of Commerce has been the most vocal in pushing for longer periods of DST. This is because studies have shown that consumers are more inclined to go out and spend when there is daylight after office hours.
They actually succeeded in that. The US Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended the start of DST from the first Sunday of April to the second Sunday of March as a means to save more energy.
The DST cons
On the other hand, critics are all too happy to tell you about the drawbacks. Chief among them: compromised productivity and increased risk for workplace injury. After all, this practice translates to employees losing an hour of sleep. As if that is not enough, employees also tend to cyberloaf—that is, use the internet for non-work activities—after DST is set in motion. Any gains from DST are potentially undermined by this.
Even the supposed savings from using less energy on lighting turns out to be inaccurate. Sure, you don’t spend as much on lights. But you do spend more on air-conditioning because of the warmer weather.
The gist of the criticism is that DST is just not worth it.
The reality of DST
Of course, whether it is good for your business is neither here or there right now. DST is still practiced. It’s coming up, in fact. You just have to deal with it.
Fortunately, you can take some measures to offset any negative effect DST might have. Help employees adjust and stay healthy by doing the following.
Remind your employees of the DST change
You might be asking why you should have to remind your own staff of something that happens every year. However, this isn’t simply about making sure your people remember that DST is coming up. It is also about mentally preparing them.
By constantly sending reminders, you’re encouraging their subconscious brains to anticipate the change. Even if they do nothing with the information, the knowledge will still prepare them for the adjustment. It’s better than having them face the shock when DST is applied.
Implement flexible schedules
Review your work schedules. Do all your employees need to be in the office at certain hours? If not, then why not implement flexible hours to help them adjust to the lost hour of sleep?
[tweetshare tweet=” Allow your staff to be a little early or a little later than usual, as long as they can complete 8 hours in the office. Some companies even let their employees leave as soon as they deliver what they need to.” username=””]You can start by not having a fixed start to the day. Allow your staff to be a little early or a little later than usual, as long as they can complete 8 hours in the office. Some companies even let their employees leave as soon as they deliver what they need to.
This eases the pressure of having to wake up an hour earlier just to get to work on time. And who knows? You might even find that flexible schedules increase staff productivity.
Allow remote work
If your business can run smoothly with flexible schedules, there’s a chance that remote work might also be a benefit. This makes it easier for employees to adjust to DST, as they can remove commuting from the equation.
You wouldn’t even have to worry about managing remote employees. With a RingCentral business phone system, it’s almost like they’re not out of reach. After all, you can:
- call them through their extensions
- chat with them through Glip
- pull them into a video or audio conference call
What’s more, employees allowed to work from home are said to be happier and more productive. This is compared to their regular office-bound counterparts.
Ease the pressure
Try easing the pressure of the time change by decreasing the workload for the week. Your employees already find that one-hour adjustment difficult. Having them work non-stop will just increase their stress levels.
[tweetshare tweet=”Schedule group exercise, trivia games, or other non-work-related activities during the switch. It could help make the transition easier for everyone.” username=””]You can also use this time to try fun things with your staff. Schedule group exercise, trivia games, or other non-work-related activities during the switch. It could help make the transition easier for everyone.
Not only are you relieving stress, you are also giving them energy for the actual work they have to do.
These are just some of the tips you can follow to help your employees adjust to DST. It may only be an hour, but that hour is important to your employees’ sleep. Help them and make their lives easier for their and your own company’s sake.
How about you guys? Do you have other tips that can help your team adjust better to DST? Sound off in the comments section!!
Originally published Mar 07, 2018, updated Aug 12, 2020