7 Things You Need to Know About Daylight Savings Time at Work

clock turning for daylight savings

Daylight Savings Time will start on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at 2:00 AM. Clocks spring forward, and 2:00 AM becomes 3:00 AM. Daylight Savings Time will stay in effect until Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, at 2:00 AM when we’ll resume “Standard Time” by moving our clocks back by an hour.

That means Monday, March 13, will likely be a rough morning for all of us when we head back into work — after all, that 8 AM call will feel a heckuva lot like 7 AM. Every year, we hear chatter around the water cooler at Star Staffing about daylight savings, how tired everyone is, and frequently, confusion about what it is, why we do it, and why it matters. We thought we’d have a little fun and set the record straight on some common daylight savings misconceptions.

In this article: 

  • What’s the actual point of daylight savings time?
  • Why did it start?
  • Didn’t the U.S. vote to end daylight savings in 2022?
  • Does California have daylight savings time? 
  • How does the time change affect hourly workers? 
  • How does daylight savings time affect my work and productivity? 
  • What can I can do to make it easier? 


What’s the actual point of daylight savings time? 

An excellent question. Sometimes called “summer time’ or “summer hours,” daylight savings time moves the clocks forward by an hour for the warmer months. (We’ve all heard the saying “Spring forward, fall back,” right?) The idea is that it helps us take advantage of added daylight in the evening. Eventually, that will be fun for you and your family — park picnics until 8 PM! — but on Monday, March 13, it might mean you’ll want an extra coffee before work. 


Why did it start?

You may have heard that we spring forward to give farmers more daylight for work, but that’s a misconception! The U.S. started daylight savings time in 1918, during World War I, to help conserve fuel and electricity. The logic: More daylight hours would reduce the need for power. 


Didn’t the U.S. congress vote to end daylight savings time in 2022?  

They tried, but it stalled out. While it’s possible that they’ll revisit the issue in a future session, as of now, Daylight Savings Time will continue as usual and start again on March 12, 2023. Sorry! 


Does California have daylight savings time?

Yes, we do. If like us, you’re based in the Golden State, you’ll be turning your clock forward on March 12, per usual.  

You may be wondering what ever happened to that proposal to end daylight saving time for California — weren’t we supposed to end daylight savings time in 2022? Sadly, the proposal didn’t pass, so we’ll be joining the rest of the nation (including the other 29 states that have tried and failed to change the process) in a collective sigh when alarms go off an hour earlier on Monday. 

Well, that’s unless you’re living in Hawaii or Arizona, the only two states that don’t observe daylight savings. We’ll say aloha to you at your usual hour.

Pro tip: Are you working in California? We have an entire archive of articles about California’s employment laws and odd quirks, plus a monthly California jobs round-up.

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How does daylight savings time affect hourly workers and graveyard shifts? 

As specialists in temp staffing in California, this is a fun question. Fair warning: If you employ hourly workers on graveyard shifts, hours get a little wonky on March 12 (and again on Sunday, Nov. 5, when daylight savings ends).  

According to the U.S. Department of Labor

“Those employees working the graveyard shift when Daylight Savings Time begins work one hour less because the clocks are set ahead one hour. Those employees working the graveyard shift when Daylight Savings Time ends work an extra hour because the clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 AM.”

This has bigger implications when daylight savings ends because you’ll want to ensure your graveyard employees get paid overtime for that extra hour, if necessary, and take appropriate breaks according to labor laws. You won’t have to think about this until fall, but it’s always good to plan ahead! 

As for other workers, there’s not much concern, but you may encounter an employee who misses the memo about the time change. We say: Go easy on them if they run late — even though most phones update to the new time automatically, things happen! 


How does daylight savings time affect my work? 

The biggest effect of daylight savings time is on sleep, and we work better when we’re well-rested. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the start of Daylight Savings Time means a temporary spike in mild to moderate insomnia for people across the United States. This can last several days, until our bodies adapt. On the Monday directly after Daylight Savings Time starts, workers sleep on average 40 minutes less than on other days, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Applied Psychology. 

That same 2009 study also found a rise in workplace-related injuries that day, so slow down and encourage your employees to take their time, too, especially if you work in a labor-intensive industry, warehouse distribution and pick-packing or assembly, operation, and production.  

Last but not least, various other daylight savings studies have found that less sleep makes workers less likely to help coworkers and affects our productivity and moods. So let’s just say, we’re all going to have a rough day — but at least we’re doing it together? 

P.S. Some good news: Applied Psychology found that switching to standard time—when 1 hour is gained in the fall — there are “no significant differences in sleep, injury quantity, or injury severity.”


Anything I can do to make daylight savings time easier? 

1. Start transitioning two or three days before daylight savings time by setting your alarm 15-30 minutes earlier each day. Yes, this will mean getting up earlier (and ideally going to bed earlier, too!) over the weekend, but isn’t it better to give yourself Saturday and Sunday morning to start getting accustomed to the change? By the time Monday rolls around, you’ll be well on your way to settling into those spring-through-summer hours. 

2. Don’t forget to change any clocks you use to spring forward, too, including the ones in your car, kitchen, and office. You don’t want to lose track of the time because you look at an outdated clock by mistake. We like changing our car clock on Sunday night, just so you don’t forget in the morning.


We hope this helps! We’ll see you at the coffee station on Monday, March 13.