There are many positive effects that daylight saving time affords us, such as extra daylight hours in the evening and the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. Due to some of the more pronounced negative factors however, the practice is not without its controversies and critics.
One example is the effect it has on the human body and the fatigue that accompanies the time shift. Many people suffer the effects of the shift for weeks, with disruptions to their sleep patterns being the most widely reported problem.
There is also the fear related to school children and their safety, who after the time shift end up catching the morning school bus in the dark.
In addition to the human aspect of the equation, there are many other drawbacks to the practice and that is why its implementation has been disputed and in some places not adhered to at all.
The true importance and advantages of daylight saving time have been researched countless times over the years, though the results of these studies are often disputed. Some of these drawbacks relate to the adjustments to daylight saving time, most notably in 2007 when an adjustment was made to the implementation of the time change. This adjustment cost an estimated five hundred million to one billion dollars. This happened because most computers are programmed to make the change automatically, however in this case when the date of the time change was altered the computers could not correct themselves. This resulted in mass confusion within the business world that cost companies millions. Also there was the additional cost of computer programming required to correct the system.
These costs were incurred partially because of clock shifts, which required extra work to coordinate. In addition to the adjustment, and sometimes reprogramming, that computers require to cope with the time change, mobile phones are also effected.
There are many other factors that come into play which increase the cost of the change. These include necessary adjustments made to medical equipment, record keeping practices, billing, and even heavy equipment and machinery. Due to these types of costs, in 2000 the stock exchange reported a single day loss of thirty-one billion dollars, although that figure is disputed by many.
Business meetings are also effected because many people forget to reset their clocks and are unaware of the actual time. This in itself costs money because it results in wasted company time, therefore, nullifying the proposed advantages of instituting daylight saving time. This disadvantage is not limited to business situations. People are affected in a personal capacity as well when they miss key events in their lives, such as athletic events, scheduled meetings with friends and loved ones, or even when it comes to watching their favorite television programs.
Within the workplace the drawbacks are not simply related to computers and machinery. There is also a reduction in worker efficiency due to the change daylight saving time requires people to make in their sleeping patterns.
Although some people are able to cope with the issue by adjusting their schedules before the change occurs, many suffer from sleep loss when the time change is implemented. This reduces personal efficiency in addition to creating a sometimes irritable atmosphere within a company environment. Irritability among workers can create an unhealthy work environment, that not only reduces efficiency because of fatigue, but strains employee relationships.