How Does Daylight Saving Affect Businesses?

On the 31 Mar 2019, daylight saving time will start, meaning our sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour later on 31 Mar 2019 than the day before. But is it more than just lighter evenings, what does daylight saving mean for businesses?

Over the years many reasons have been given for why we set our clocks forward, then back, and much of the data surrounding that reasoning has been rendered useless. Business owners, in particular, might be interested in knowing the effects of daylight saving time might have on their bottom line.

The main reasons given for daylight saving time are:

  • It allows people more time for social activities in the spring and summer
  • It reduces energy costs as people won’t need (as many) lights in their homes when waking up early
  • It boosts consumer spending.

People definitely get more sunlight time after-work, and it does briefly brighten mornings in the fall and winter. But today, with modern heating, any reduction in energy costs will be tiny.

The boost to consumer spending, is likely overstated and any boost is like to be offset by the loss of productivity due to sleepy employees. A 2012 paper showed that DST leads to an increase in “cyberloafing”—a fancy word for messing around on the computer.

People often struggle to adjust to this new rhythm, so you might consider using DST to your advantage: cater to consumer obsession with sleep, rest, relaxation, and comfort around that time. If your business is leisure orientated or focused around socialising consider marketing in tandem with day light savings to take advantage of the sunnier evenings.

In reality, the economic effects of day light savings to your business are infinitesimally small. So, for now, just give yourself and your employees time to rest and adjust to the new rhythm and enjoy those long sunny evenings.