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“Spring forward, fall back.” On Sunday, November 5, most of the United States will set clocks back one hour which means it will get dark earlier. This can have a detrimental effect for some people on their biological clock and sleep habits.

How Does Daylight Savings Time Impact the Workplace?

Supervisors may notice a change in their employees’ productivity, both because of disrupted sleep habits and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—a type of depression which is caused by exposure to less sunlight. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “It is thought that shorter days and less daylight may trigger a chemical change in the brain leading to symptoms of depression.”

For some people, “That missing hour of sleep can have a major impact on your alertness, mood, performance, health, and safety,” says Kimberly A. Honn, Ph.D., assistant professor at Washington State University Spokane in the Sleep and Performance Research Center

“It can take a week or longer for the biological clock to adjust to the new time,” says Honn. She adds that all the while, your “sleep debt stays with you.” During that time, you may face an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and injuries in the workplace or on the road.”

What Are the Signs of SAD in the Workplace?

Supervisors should be observant of changes in employee’s behaviors due to lack of sleep:

  • Coming into work later than usual
  • Drowsiness during the workday 
  • Irritability 
  • Social withdrawal
  • Inability to concentrate on tasks 
  • Trouble thinking clearly
How Can Supervisors Help Employees Deal With SAD?
  • Allow flexibility in work start times
  • Provide additional task lighting 
  • Allow employees to take breaks to walk outside and get fresh air
  • Allow employees to use sick leave or Paid Time Off (PTO) to seek professional help with symptoms if necessary

SAD is just one of the mental health issues that supervisors need to be aware of in today’s workplace. 

An HR Professional Can Help You With All of Your Human Resource Needs. 

From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.

For more information about our accounting and human resource services, contact Next Level Solutions at info@nextlevelsol.net or (225) 330-8347.