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Are you goofing off at work today?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pushing the clock ahead one hour can impact more than your internal clock, and experts say combining Daylight Saving Time with March Madness means low productivity.

Some people love it. "I have an 18-month old who has been waking up at 4 a.m. and today he woke up at 5 a.m." Julie Stahr said.

Others hate it.

"...It's hard to get used to. I'm kind of sleepy walking around, like half-asleep today," Samantha Bradley said.

The spring forward allows for an extra hour of daylight, but it also messes with people's sleep. And though, it's just an hour less, in our already sleep-deprived culture, that hour can have serious consequences.

"We're encountering data of an increase in extra auto and workplace accidents on Monday or perhaps even carrying through the first week of the Spring time shift," Dr. James Wyatt, Rush University Medical Center, said.

Dr. Wyatt is the director at Rush University Medical Center's Sleep Disorders Service. He says, in ideal conditions most people would get used to the time change in a day.

"The problem is most of us don't have much exposure to outdoor bright light. The light-dark cycle outside is the biggest time cue that sets our clocks on a daily basis," Dr. Wyatt said.

The time change also affects people's work, according to one Chicago-based consulting group, groggy workers are more prone to cyber-loafing, which is spending more time online playing games and doing other non-work related activities.

"It's hard to be as productive. People come in, they're more tired and more given to getting on their computer and surfing the net," John Challenger, Challenger, Gray and Christmas, said.

And because this year, the spring forward coincides with the beginning of March Madness, employees filling out their brackets might be even more distracted than usual.

"We found that the first two days of the tourney it would cost employees up to $175 million in lost productivity," Challenger said.

What can employers do about it? Fill out that bracket.

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