The Costs of Springing Forward?

March 31, 2004 ( - Most Americans may lose an hour of sleep this weekend, but their employers could lose a lot more than that.

The good folks at outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas today said that the arrival of Daylight Savings Time this weekend could cost US businesses a 30% drop in productivity.

That conclusion, offered by the same firm that previously has taken the time to quantify the workplace costs of such relatively innocuous events as the NCAA basketball tournament (see Challenger: March Madness Steals Worker Productivity at ), and the Super Bowl ( The Super Bowl’s Hidden Cost: Lost Productivity? ), now draws on findings from the National Sleep Foundation to bolster its premise.

The Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization based in , reports that Americans say that the quality and quantity of their work declines by 30% when they are sleepy, according to Challenger. However, employer opinions on the productivity decline were not solicited, nor was there was any apparent attempt to quantify the impact in dollar terms.

The Foundation suggests that you can help the “transition” to Daylight Saving Time by either trying to sleep more than usual a few nights prior to and immediately following the time change, or by taking a nap in the afternoon on Sunday.

But I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it…