On Sunday, March 10, at 2 am, daylight saving time begins. It’s that time when we spring our clocks forward, pushing the sunset later in the evening, and sunrise later in the morning. The consequence…spring forward will temporarily disrupt the operations of thousands of American businesses.
It sounds simple, but there is still plenty of confusion about daylight saving time. For starters, DST begins in the spring, and ends in the fall. Now let’s clear up some other questions.
1) Why do we begin daylight saving time in the spring?
The gist of DST was to shift the number of daylight hours into the evening. So if the sun sets at 8 pm instead of 7 pm, we supposedly spend less time with the lights on in our homes at night, thereby saving electricity. This also means you’re less likely to sleep during daylight hours in the morning (since those are shifted an hour later too). The result- daylight hours are “saved” for the most productive time of the day.
2) Is it “daylight savings time” or “daylight saving time”?
It is officially known as “daylight saving time.” Not plural. Take it from Pyramid Time Systems. We should know.
3) Why doesn’t Arizona or Hawaii participate in DST?
Arizona has figured out a simple way to deal with daylight saving time: They just ignore it! Fifty years ago, the state legislature opted to keep the clocks in most of the state in standard time all year. The primary reason is Arizona summers are extremely hot, and an earlier sunset provides residents more time to enjoy tolerable temperatures before turning into bed. Hawaii also doesn’t observe DST. Since the island state is the farthest south of all states, it doesn’t see a noticeable daylight hour difference between winter and summer months.
4) What about Florida and California? Are they getting rid of DST?
A few states have looked into joining Arizona and Hawaii, but there is a twist: They want daylight saving time to be in place all year long. In the November 2018 election, Californians voted in favor of a ballot measure that paves the way for this. The measure grants the California Legislature the power to vote to change the clocks permanently. Any changes would need to start with a two-thirds majority vote in the state legislature, which has not happened yet. And even if it did get the vote, the time change wouldn’t be a given. Congress would have to approve it. In 2018, the Florida government approved the appropriately named Sunshine Protection Act, which seeks to permanently leave Florida in daylight saving time. (Essentially, it would mean that Florida will be one hour ahead of the rest of the East Coast during the winter months.) The bill is still waiting on approval from Congress before it can officially go into effect. So for now, Floridians and Californians will be changing their clocks on Sunday along with the rest of us!
6) Is daylight saving time disruptive to business?
The answer is yes. When daylight saving time occurs on Sunday, many businesses arrive Monday morning to incorrect clocks. In the immediate days after daylight saving time starts, maintenance workers must scramble to manually adjust the clocks. Now imagine if a company has ten, twenty or even 100 clocks! At 5-10 minutes per clock, this could tie up days or even weeks of time! Not to mention the havoc unleashed on employee punctuality, meeting schedules, shipping schedules and production schedules! Being an hour off schedule can throw a wrench in productivity and overall operations.
Skip the worry with automatic daylight saving time! Many clocks feature automatic daylight saving time, so you don’t have to lift a finger, and get back to business as usual on Monday morning!