Daylights Saving Time-Shift Causes Employees to Loaf on Monday

sleep deprivation effects on body

(Best Syndication News) Researchers from Virginia Tech University say that the annual shift to daylight savings time makes employees tired, resulting in more time spent surfing the web during their workday.

On average, Americans lose 40 minutes of sleep Sunday night making it more difficult to “self-regulate” their behavior. D. Lance Ferris, assistant professor of management and organization in Penn State's Smeal College of Business, and his colleagues David T. Wagner, Singapore Management University; Christopher M. Barnes, Virginia Tech University, say this leads to more entertainment-related searches.

Rather than work, employees will spend more time “cyberloafing” while on the clock. Although they extrapolated some of their data from Google, the researchers also conducted a lab experiment that required sleep-deprived subjects to watch a boring lecture online. The less sleep the participants had, the more time they spent surfing the web when they were supposed to be watching the lecture.

Ferris says that sleep interruptions can have the same effect. Participants engaged in 8.4 more minutes of loafing (or 20 percent of the assigned task time) for every hour of interrupted sleep.

Since nearly one third of the world’s countries participate in some form of daylights saving time, the amount of money lost could be “staggering,” according to Ferris.

“In the push for high productivity, managers and organizations may cut into the sleep of employees by requiring longer work hours,” the researchers wrote.

“This may promote vicious cycles of lost sleep, resulting in less time spent working, which could result in more frantic pushes for extended work time. Managers may find that by avoiding infringement on employee sleep, they will get more productivity out of their employees.”

Their research appears in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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