It’s that time of year again! On Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 2 a.m. Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins in the United States and ends on Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2 a.m. In the office, DST can affect many things, from office equipment to productivity.
Let’s take a closer look at some things to check in the office when we turn the clocks ahead on March 8th:
- Check Your Devices – Your office devices will likely update their time automatically, however, it’s always a good idea to check. Make sure the time is right on printers, computers, tablets, mobile phones, copiers, phone systems, and fax machines.
- The Beginning of DST is a Great Time for Safety – Use the start of DST as a reminder to check safety items in the office (and at home!). Check the pressure in your fire extinguishers, change the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. Go through your office medical emergency kit and replace expired items.
Daylight Saving Time and Office Productivity
The first week after DST goes into effect can be a bit disorientating. According to Christopher Barnes, Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Washington “short term effects play out primarily on Monday and peter out throughout the rest of the week. It might take two to four days to get back to normal.”
Here are a couple of tips to make it through the first week, productively!
- Take time to adjust. Adjust your new sleep schedule several days in advance to give your body time to adapt.
- Exercise and plan your diet for the week. Moving will combat fatigue and get those endorphins pumping. As for food, eat brainfood and limit caffeine intake after lunchtime.
- Expose yourself to natural sunlight. If it’s not available, try a lightbox.
- Move important meetings. Unless it’s essential, try not to schedule meetings on the Monday after the time change.
- Leave demanding tasks for later. Reserve the Monday after DST for soft functions that don’t require a lot of focus, concentration or energy. Keep those tasks for later in the week when things return to normal.
Studies have found that more injuries and illnesses occur during the first couple of days following Daylight Saving Time. Use those days to take it easy and adjust. Remember, after a couple of weeks, things will feel normal again… until it’s time to fall back on November 1st!