The loss of sleep in the shift to daylight saving time results in workers spending more time surfing the Web for non-work-related content, U.S. researchers say.
The ramification of the one-hour shift is potentially massive losses in employee productivity, researchers at Penn State reported Wednesday.
Analysis of six years' worth of data from Google showed Web searches related to entertainment rise sharply the Monday after the shift to daylight saving time when compared with the preceding and subsequent Mondays, they said.
Previous studies have shown people exhibit poorer self-control when they're tired, and the lost sleep due to the time change makes employees less likely to self-regulate their behavior and more inclined to spend time "cyberloafing," or surfing the Internet for personal pursuits on the company's time, they said.
The researchers said their findings have implications for managers, who in the current economy are squeezing more and more work out of fewer employees.
"In the push for high productivity, managers and organizations may cut into the sleep of employees by requiring longer work hours," the study by Penn State management Professor D. Lance Ferris and colleagues said.
"This may promote vicious cycles of lost sleep, resulting in less time spent working, which could result in more frantic pushes for extended work time. Managers may find that by avoiding infringement on employee sleep, they will get more productivity out of their employees."
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