Article says daylight saving time can hurt productivity

Alarm clock

Most people don’t really know how, why or when daylight saving time started. And often it doesn’t matter — just another minor inconvenience, something that causes a few missed alarms on “Sleepy Monday.”

But some New England states, including Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, have had enough, and are proposing legislation to stick with daylight saving all year long. The reasoning behind the efforts is simple: at New England’s latitude, falling back each November causes the sun to set before 4 p.m.

And it’s more than annoying. David Wagner, a management professor at the UO, says missing that hour of sleep can have an effect on people’s work.

“Switching to daylight saving time, particularly during the spring, is problematic because it disrupts the circadian cycle that we have,” he said. “And when it gives that shock to our system we are not immediately able to change.”

He goes on to explain the disruption can lead to more procrastination at work and even less awareness of the moral implications of certain situations, something especially important for judges and police officers.

For more, read or listen to, “New England States Could Band Together to Join Atlantic Time, Stop Changing Clocks” on Vermont Public Radio.

Wagner has been teaching at the UO’s Lundquist College of Business since 2014. He researches workplace behavior and the causes behind it, including sleep habits, emotional labor and the dynamic processes of mood and emotion.