Did you change your clocks over the weekend? (About 70 countries currently observe Daylight Saving Time, though they may follow a different schedule than in the US.)
As I was adjusting clocks over the weekend, I contemplated the cost of switching to and from Daylight Saving Time (DST)—and the amount of time it takes, not saves!Did you remember to change your clocks over the weekend? Click To Tweet
First, doing some projections based on my personal clock setting experiences, I calculate that in the United States alone, about 150,000 hours is collectively spent adjusting clocks each fall and spring. For businesses, there is direct labor cost associated with this effort. In most cases they can address this on Monday morning, however, for some businesses clocks must be adjusted at 2:00 a.m., generally requiring overtime pay as well.
To determine the full cost, however, add in devices that are inadvertently broken while trying to set them and that are then replaced.
Next, consider all the commitments, appointments, and flights that are missed because people show up at the wrong time. In the fall, it’s not so bad, as you arrive early—and end up waiting. In the spring it’s a killer, because you arrive too late.
Altogether, this adds up to a huge cost, burden, and time waster—all for the delusion that we are saving time by doing so.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.